India Reports Record Number of New COVID Infections

India’s Health Ministry reported Sunday that it had recorded 90,632 new COVID-19 infections in the previous 24-hour period, setting a world record for a one-day tally of new cases.

India has a total of 4,113,811 COVID cases, according to Johns Hopkins University, the third-highest total worldwide. Only Brazil and the United States have more infections, with 4,123,000 and 6,245,866 respectively, Johns Hopkins said.

The New York Times reports that it has seen a letter from Mark Lowcock, the United Nations undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs. The letter addressed to the Security Council says that the Democratic Republic of Congo, northeastern Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen are teetering on the brink of famines, as a result of a combination of factors “compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic” and that millions of lives are in danger. The Times said Saturday the letter to council members has not been made public.

Boston’s Northeastern University has expelled 11 students because they violated the school’s coronavirus safety protocols. The students were found without masks and not observing social distancing in a room allocated for only two people. Media reports say Northeastern has also declined to return the students’ tuition which is more than $35,000 each.

More than 410,000 Americans could die from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, by January 1, according to the latest model by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

The United States reported more than 188,500 deaths as of Saturday, and more than 6,200,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins data. If the IHME model, released Friday, is correct, that would mean an estimated 222,000 more deaths over the next 3½ months.

“We expect the daily death rate in the United States, because of seasonality and declining vigilance of the public, to reach nearly 3,000 a day in December,” the institute, which bills itself as an independent research center, said in an update of its periodic forecasts.

It previously projected 317,697 deaths by December 1.

However, the researchers at IHME say, if use of face masks became nearly universal, the predicted 222,000 deaths could be reduced by half. Conversely, if restrictions are eased, the toll could be much higher by New Year’s Day.

“Increasing mask use to the levels seen in Singapore would decrease the cumulative death toll to 288,000, or 122,000 lives saved compared to the reference scenario,” it said.

“If a herd immunity strategy is pursued, meaning no further government intervention is taken from now to Jan 1st, the death toll could increase to 620,000,” according to IHME’s briefing.

The IHME model is one of the more aggressive of the 35 models used to forecast COVID-19 deaths. The ensemble forecast by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which came out Thursday, predicted 211,000 U.S. deaths from COVID-19 by Sept. 26.

The model’s outlook for the world was even more dire, with deaths projected to triple to 2.8 million by January 1.

There are nearly 27 million COVID cases around the world and more than 879,000 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins data.

Source: Voice of America