CHANDIGARH, India 

India’s coronavirus deaths surpassed 100,000 Saturday after the country saw 1,069 new fatalities in the last 24 hours, according to its health ministry.   

The death toll stands at 100,842 and there were 79,476 new cases reported in the past 24 hours taking the total infections to more than 6.4 million, it said.  

US-based John Hopkins University that compiles coronavirus figures, ranks India as third globally in virus deaths and the third country to cross the 100,000 deaths figure. 

The health ministry said a number of states have reported a decline in the number of active cases during the last week. 

“25 States/UTs have reported a fall in the number of Active Cases during the last week. Higher number of daily recoveries and persistently regressing fatality rate are leading to lower number of Active Cases on a daily basis,” the ministry said on Twitter. 

India this week issued new guidelines for opening more activities nationwide. Movie theatres multiplexes will be permitted up to 50% capacity beginning Oct. 15. 

India imposed a nationwide lockdown in March to prevent the spread of coronavirus. That move brought the country to a grinding halt. In June, it started opening economic activities in a phased manner. 

While it has lately increased the number of testing on a daily basis, a survey published in a medical journal estimated that the country had 6.4 million infections three months ago. The revelations of the survey indicate that a smaller number of testing was conducted. 

This week, another survey found that 7% of the country’s adult population may have been exposed to the virus by August, local media reported. 

Experts believe India will eventually surpass the US — the worst-affected country — in the severity of the pandemic.

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