Coronavirus cases in India have reached 100,000, matching its number of intensive care beds, and the rate of increase of new infections showed little sign of slowing.

Coronavirus cases in India have reached 100,000, matching its number of intensive care beds, and the rate of increase of new infections showed little sign of slowing.
India reported 4,970 new cases over the previous 24 hours, taking its total to 101,139. Deaths rose by 134 to 3,163.
India’s number of cases has easily outstripped that of China, where the virus emerged late last year and which has been one of Asia’s infection hot spots.
China has reported nearly 83,000 cases but has kept its daily rise in new infections to single digits for the past week.
In contrast, new cases in India have risen by an average of more than 4,000 a day over the past week, according to a Reuters tally based on official data, despite a severe weeks-long lockdown.
India officially extended the lockdown on Sunday to 31 May,although several states indicated they would allow businesses to reopen.
Health experts and officials are worried about the strain the epidemic is placing on India’s over-stretched and under-funded hospital system.
Dhruva Chaudhry, president of the Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine, told Reuters last month that India probably had only about 100,000 intensive care unit (ICU) beds and 40,000 ventilators.
Dr Chaudhry warned there was not sufficient infrastructure or staff in the country of 1.35 billion people to handle a sharp spike in the number of critical patients.
While not every coronavirus patient needs an ICU bed, health experts worry about surging cases in India, particularly as many believe the official tally falls short of the reality.
India has not provided a detailed breakdown on the condition of people who have been diagnosed with Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, although authorities have reported that about 37,000 people have recovered.
India’s death rate is less than that of some other big countries, at 3%, compared with about 6% for the United States,where some 89,000 people have died, and 14% for Britain.
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More than 4.81 million people have been reported to have been infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 317,721 have died, according to a Reuters tally. 
Nicaragua reports more pneumonia deaths, some tied to Covid-19
Meanwhile Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said yesterday that 309 people have died of pneumonia since January in the Central American country, 87 more people than in the same period last year, but that only some deaths were linked to the coronavirus.
Nicaraguan authorities have reported only eight deaths from Covid-19 and 25 total cases of infection.
Health workers have cast doubt on these figures, noting that hospital wards are packed with patients suffering respiratory problems and that Ortega’s government has not imposed strict measures to contain the outbreak.
Health authorities have not publicly said how many Covid-19 tests have been conducted in Nicaragua, and Ortega did not detail how many of the pneumonia deaths could be tied to the coronavirus.
In his national television address, Mr Ortega did not address the cause for the rise in pneumonia, which can produce symptoms similar to the coronavirus.
According to Mr Ortega, 309 people have died from pneumonia this year through 15 May, compared with only 222 people in the same period last year. There were 215 people who died from pneumonia in the same time frame in 2018, and 289 the year before that.
Mr Ortega also noted that the pneumonia death toll was similarly high in 2016, when 329 people died of it, but did not detail why that was. He added that many of the people who died this year already had other illnesses, making them more vulnerable to pneumonia.
Mr Ortega did not announce any new sanitary measures for the country of more than six million people.
Instead, the 74-year-old former guerrilla leader struck an optimistic note, despite images in news outlets and social media showing lines of families outside Nicaraguan hospitals, seeking news of their ill relatives.
China’s embassy says Australia claim of WHA vindication is ‘a joke’
China derided as “a joke” an Australian assertion that a resolution at the World Health Assembly (WHA) for an enquiry into the novel coronavirus was a vindication of its push for a global review, another sign of worsening relations.
In an unusually blunt statement on the same day that China imposed hefty tariffs on Australian barley exports, China’s embassy in Canberra was sharply critical of Australia on an issue that has soured relations between them.
“The draft resolution on Covid-19 to be adopted by the World Health Assembly is totally different from Australia’s proposal of an independent international review,” a Chinese embassy spokesman said in an emailed statement.
“To claim the WHA’s resolution a vindication of Australia’s call is nothing but a joke.”
The WHA is the decision-making body of the World Health Organization.
China had attacked Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison since he began lobbying international counterparts for an investigation last month.
The Chinese ambassador had earlier warned of a consumer boycott of Australian goods, which prompted Australian accusations of “economic coercion”.
Australian diplomats worked with the European Union to gather support from the majority of nations at the WHA to support the resolution which was put forward by the European Union, Australia said.
“We welcome the fact that the World Health Assembly has supported overwhelmingly the decision and the advocacy of the Australian government there be an independent investigation into Covid-19, its origin and its handling around the world,” Trade Minister Simon Birmingham told a radio station.
Australia would make sure it was an independent investigation and hoped “that everybody will cooperate with that, including Chinese authorities”, he said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday told the assembly that China would support a comprehensive review of the response to the coronavirus after the pandemic is brought under control.
The WHA resolution outlines a review will occur at the”earliest appropriate” moment.
Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said on Monday the resolution wording of an “impartial, independent and comprehensive” evaluation, which included “an examination of the zoonotic origins of the coronavirus”, had met Australia’s requirements.
Chinese embassies have recently taken a more assertive approach to international affairs, including criticism of its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, a policy dubbed “Wolf Warrior” diplomacy in both Western and Chinese media.
France reports fewer new coronavirus deaths, uptick in cases
France reported a small dip in the daily tally of new coronavirus deaths yesterday, though it also saw a slight uptick in confirmed cases, a week after authorities started easing lockdown restrictions.
France’s death toll is the fourth highest worldwide, after the United States, Britain and Italy, and its health ministry, announcing the latest figures, urged people to remain cautious and to respect social distancing rules.
It reported 131 further fatalities over the past 24 hours from Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, or as lowing increase of 0.5%, bringing the total death tally to 28,239.
A surge in fatalities in retirement homes pushed up France’s daily death toll to 483 on Sunday. But over the last 24 hours, those homes only registered eight new deaths.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is still active,” the ministry said.
The number of new confirmed cases of the virus rose by 492,or 0.3%, the ministry said, as fears of a second wave of infections linger in France, where junior high schools are now reopening their doors in some regions.
On Sunday it had seen only 120 new coronavirus cases, or a daily increase of 0.1%.
The number of people in intensive care with Covid-19 infection declined by 4.3% to 1,998, below the 2,000 threshold for the first time since March 22. The number of people in hospitals fell to 19,015 from 19,361 on Sunday.
Both numbers – key indicators for the French health system’s ability to cope with the epidemic – have been on a downtrend for four to five weeks and peaked at more than 32,000 and more than 7,000 respectively in early to mid-April.