NEW DELHI, India

With 13,586 new cases and 336 deaths in the last 24 hours, India on Friday saw its biggest surge in COVID-19 cases, according to the Health Ministry.

The country of around 1.3 billion population now has 380,532 confirmed cases including 12,573 deaths.

On Thursday, Home Minister Amit Shah held a review meeting on COVID-19 preparations with senior officials. He emphasized the need to have a unified strategy to battle the pandemic.

“In order to control COVID-19, we need to test more and it is also necessary for identification and treatment of those diagnosed COVID-19 positive,” said Shah.

A day after the World Health Organization said hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) was not beneficial to treat COVID-19 patients, India decided to discontinue the HCQ arm of the Solidarity Trial at 22 sites.

The northern state of Haryana is emerging as a concern with rising infections.

The western state of Maharashtra, which includes India’s financial capital Mumbai, remains the worst-hit state due to COVID-19. The state’s death toll has zoomed to 3,830 while the total number of coronavirus patients increased to 120,504, including 53,915 active cases.

India is only behind the US (2,191,052 cases), Brazil (978,142), and Russia (560,321), as per the US-based Johns Hopkins University figures.

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