India coronavirus cases rise to 6.76M as schools gear for reopening

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India’s total coronavirus cases rose to 6.69 million, data from the health ministry showed.

New infections were at 61,267 as at Tuesday morning.

Deaths from COVID-19 infections rose by 884 to 103,569, the ministry said.

India’s death toll from the novel coronavirus rose past 100,000 on Saturday, only the third country in the world to reach that bleak milestone.

It is second only to the United States in terms of total number of COVID-19 cases but an antibodies study shows that a large percentage of the population has not yet been exposed, suggesting a risk of cases rising much further.

Last week, India further eased restrictions and permitted states to open schools and movie theatres.

The federal government allowed states to reopen schools and other educational institutions in a phased manner from October 15.

“Students may attend schools/institutions only with the written consent of parents,” the federal government said in a statement.

Movie industry representatives in Bollywood said in May it would take at least two years for them to recover financially from the pandemic, putting tens of thousands of jobs at risk.

Industry figures show India makes 1,200 films in a typical year, while there are 9,500 theatres that have been shut down completely in the last over six months.

India imposed a strict nationwide lockdown in March but has in recent months slowly lifted restrictions amid rising concerns of a sharp slowdown in economic growth.

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