India reaches grim new daily covid death toll record

India has broken a new record as the number of people killed by coronavirus grows, as the country struggles through a deadly crisis that is spiralling out of control.

The daily death toll rose by 3780 in the last 24 hours, Reuters reports. The number takes India’s total death toll to more than 222,400, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Centre.

India has now reported more than 20.2 million cases of coronavirus, trailing the United States — where more than 32 million cases have been reported.

Ten million of India’s cases have been rapidly reported in just four months, after the country took 10 months to reach its first 10 million.

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It comes as Australia’s federal health minister Greg Hunt said a controversial decision to ban flights from India was designed to manage the number of positive cases in the country.

“What we have seen is, of course, more than one in eight passengers on the most recent flights were testing positive,” Mr Hunt said. “That’s the level beyond anything that we had seen before.”

He said the government would spend the time between now and May 15, when the ban is set to be revised, tripling the capacity of the Howard Springs quarantine facility in Darwin.

He also said there would be better testing at the point of departure in foreign countries.

In Delhi, in India’s capital territory, some 20,000 cases are reported every day.

The strain on the health system means many Delhi city hospitals require some 976 tonnes of oxygen to treat suffocating patients, but are allocated just 490 tonnes.

Representatives for Prime Minister Narendra Modi have told local courts, where hospital demands are now being dealt with, the federal government has done all it can.

Mr Modi’s government has blamed Delhi’s government for politicising the issue.

On Tuesday the Indian Premier League (IPL) was halted as the country hit 20 million coronavirus cases.

“While we have tried to bring in some positivity and cheer, it is imperative that the tournament is now suspended and everyone goes back to their families and loved ones in these trying times,” the IPL said in a statement.

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