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India surpasses 150,000 virus cases

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AP


India’s coronavirus caseload has surpassed 150,000, with another single-day high of more than 6,000 reported on Wednesday.

The spike comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government prepares a new set of guidelines, with the fourth phase of the two-month-old lockdown across the country set to end on Sunday.

The Health Ministry reported 151,767 cases on Wednesday, a jump of 6,387, with 4,337 deaths — an increase of 170 in the past 24 hours. It said 64,426 people have recovered from the virus.

Most of the cases are concentrated in five of India’s 28 states. An increase has also been reported in some of the country’s poorest eastern states as migrant workers returning to native villages from large cities have begun arriving home on special trains.

India eased lockdown restrictions earlier this month, allowing shops to reopen and manufacturing to resume. Some trains and domestic flights began operating again.

Metro services, schools and colleges, and hotels and restaurants are shuttered nationwide.

 Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Tuesday night that he will allow casinos to reopen June 4, welcoming tourists to return to the glitzy gambling mecca of Las Vegas.

The Democratic governor told reporters that Nevada will welcome visitors from across the country to come to Las Vegas and have a good time. Sisolak closed the casinos 10 weeks ago as part of a broad shutdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The casinos typically draw millions of tourists to Las Vegas and power the state’s economy. The governor said he would also allow in-person religious services of up to 50 people starting Friday.

South Korea has reported 40 new coronavirus cases for its biggest daily jump in nearly 50 days, causing alarm in a country where millions of children are returning to school.

Figures from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday brought national totals to 11,265 cases and 269 deaths.

All but four of the new cases came from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, where officials have been scrambling to stem transmissions linked to nightclubs, karaoke rooms and an e-commerce warehouse.

Three cases were linked to international arrivals.

A steady rise in cases in the greater capital area over the past few weeks has raised concern as officials proceed with a phased reopening of schools, which began with high school seniors last week. More than 2 million high school juniors, middle school seniors, first and second graders and kindergarten students were expected to return to school on Wednesday.

Mexico’s health department has reported 501 more deaths from the coronavirus — the first time the country’s one-day figure has exceeded 500.

The number of new cases reported Tuesday also set a daily high, with 3,455 additional infections confirmed. Mexico has recorded nearly 74,560 confirmed cases and 8,134 deaths, though officials acknowledge the number of cases is probably several times higher due to the country’s extremely low testing rate.

Mexico’s daily death toll is now approaching that of the United States, at around 620. Brazil leads in daily deaths with over 800.

China reported one imported case of coronavirus Wednesday and no new deaths as legislators meeting for the ceremonial parliament’s annual session pushed for improvements in the public health system.

The national Health Commission said in its daily report that 79 people remain in treatment, while another 410 are under isolation and monitoring for possibly having the virus or after testing positive without showing any symptoms. China has reported 4,634 COVID-19 deaths among 82,993 cases.

Public health has been discussed more than usual at the National People’s Congress session, which was delayed more than two months and cut from two weeks to one because of the virus outbreak that began in the central city of Wuhan late last year.

President Donald Trump had a message to offer those who crowded pools and boardwalks over the Memorial Day weekend, defying coronavirus social distancing guidelines: “Always be safe.”

Trump did not criticize the images that flooded cable television airwaves during a Rose Garden event, saying only: “We’re opening up, but you want to be safe.”

Cases are still rising in some states.

Trump also maintained Tuesday, without explanation, that he “can absolutely” force governors to allow churches and other houses of worship across the country to reopen, saying he “will override any governor that wants to play games.”

But he also said that pastors, rabbis and imams “don’t want anyone getting hurt or sick.” And he conceded that “there may be some areas” where religious leaders may “feel that it’s not quite ready.”

He said that’s something he’s OK with, as long as it’s “the choice of the congregation and the pastor.”