India reports 78,000 new coronavirus infections

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NEW DELHI—India has registered 78,524 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, driving the country’s total since the pandemic began to 6.8 million.

The Health Ministry on Thursday also reported 971 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 1,05,526.

India has witnessed a steady drop of confirmed coronavirus cases for three consecutive weeks now—from recording more than 86,000 daily cases in the last two weeks of September to an average of more than 70,000 cases daily so far this month. The numbers have also fallen sharply from earlier in September when daily cases averaged around 93,000 in India.

More than 1.1 million samples have been tested daily on an average so far in October, according to the Health Ministry.

Other developments:

Sri Lanka closes key state offices as virus outbreak surges

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka—Authorities in Sri Lanka have closed key government offices and further expanded a curfew to contain a surging coronavirus outbreak.

The foreign ministry closed the consular affairs office for the week and suspended all services to prevent the public from congregating. The ministry said Thursday it would only accept queries and documentation assistance related to deaths of Sri Lankans overseas, strictly by appointment.

Other departments providing services related to revenue, immigration, pensions, vehicle license and registrations also closed for the week, and a state-sponsored exhibition was canceled.

The outbreak that surfaced this week has grown to 1,034 cases with more than 2,000 others asked to quarantine at home.

South Korea reports 69 new cases

SEOUL, South Korea—South Korea has 69 new confirmed coronavirus cases, most of them in the Seoul region area where health workers are struggling to track transmissions tied to hospitals, churches, schools and an army unit.

The figures released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Thursday brought the national total to 24,422 cases, including 427 deaths.

Forty-nine of the new cases were reported from the Seoul metropolitan area, home to about half of the country’s 51 million people. The region has been at the center of coronavirus resurgence since mid-August. AP

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