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India climbs to third place in coronavirus cases

India on Monday became the third-highest coronavirus caseload in the world, as officials warned hospitals in the United States were in danger of being overwhelmed by a surge in infections.

Despite signs of progress in parts of Europe — where the Louvre in Paris will reopen on Monday — total global infections are fast approaching 11.5 million, with more than 533,000 deaths.

The Indian government — like many around the world — has gradually lifted virus restrictions to help the battered economy, but the number of cases has continued to climb, with 24,000 reported in 24 hours to take the total to nearly 700,000 on Monday.

India’s major cities including New Delhi and Mumbai are the hardest-hit by the coronavirus, and critics say too few tests are being conducted and that many COVID-19 infections are likely to go undiagnosed. The surge in coronavirus cases has forced authorities in India to convert hotels, wedding halls, a spiritual centre and even railway coaches to help provide care to coronavirus patients.

And in Australia, where the virus outbreak had largely been brought under control, a new spike in cases in Melbourne forced authorities to effectively seal off the state of Victoria from the rest of the country.

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There was an illustration of the lingering threat of the virus in Fiji, with the Pacific nation confirming Monday its 78-day run without any cases had ended with a 66-year-old man testing positive.

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