COVID cases cross 24 mln in India, surge in Nepal
India's COVID-19 infections topped 24 million on Friday as the country's outbreak extends into neighboring Nepal.
A highly transmissible variant of the virus has wreaked havoc in rural India, where two-thirds of the country's population have limited access to health care.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government was "on a war basis" to contain the infections.
On Friday, Eid celebrations at the end of Ramadan were subdued as most states imposed bans and closed mosques.
Modi has come under increasing pressure to impose a national lockdown as the variant, first discovered within its borders, spreads around the globe.
The northern neighbor Nepal has recorded 57 times more COVID-19 infections compared to a month ago.
As the death toll rises, officials in Kathmandu are making efforts to cremate bodies and make burial spaces near river banks.
The recent outbreak there has also resulted in a shortage of hospital beds and medical care.
Almost half of the COVID tests in Nepal last week were positive, according to the Red Cross, but only 1% of the population was fully vaccinated.
The country's prime minister was forced to resign over his response to the crisis.
Several countries have extended their travel bans for India to Nepal as well as Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
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