In India's northeast there's fear of a virus surge to come
GAUHATI, India (AP) — With experts saying the coronavirus is likely spreading in India’s northeastern state of Assam faster than anywhere else in the country, authorities were preparing Monday for a surge in infections by converting a massive stadium and a university into hospitals.
Cases in Assam started ticking upward a month ago and the official seven-day weekly average in the state on May 9 stood at more than 4,700 cases. But a model run the University of Michigan — which predicts the current spread of cases before they are actually detected — says infections in Assam are likely occurring as fast as any other place in the country.
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Add to that recent elections in the state — and the huge political rallies that accompanied them — and experts fear a uncontrolled surge is on the horizon.
Worryingly, along with cities in India's northeastern frontier — which is closer to Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan than it is New Delhi — cases have also started to spike in some remote Himalayan villages in the region.
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Nationwide, India's Health Ministry reported 360,000 new cases in the past 24 hours Monday, with more than 3,700 deaths. Since the pandemic began, India has seen more than 22.6 million infections and more than 246,000 deaths —- both, experts say, almost certainly undercounts.
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