Daily coronavirus cases in India near 20,000 as Mumbai extends lockdown

More than 16,000 have now died from the disease caused by the virus since the first case in India in January

  
Relatives pay their respects to a man who died of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as health workers transport his body ahead of his cremation at a crematorium in New Delhi, India, June 29, 2020.

Relatives pay their respects to a man who died of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as health workers transport his body ahead of his cremation at a crematorium in New Delhi, India, June 29, 2020.

Reuters/Adnan Abidi

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI - India reported close to 20,000 fresh novel coronavirus cases for the second day running on Monday, as the financial hub of Mumbai extended its lockdown by a month.

There were 19,459 new cases reported in the previous 24 hours, according to data from India's federal Health Ministry released on Monday. That is down slightly from Sunday's record of 19,906, but still sign cases in the country are yet to subside.

India lags only the United States, Brazil and Russia in total cases. More than 16,000 have now died from the disease caused by the virus since the first case in India in January -- low when compared to countries with similar numbers of cases.

But experts fear its hospitals will be unable to cope with a steep rise in cases.

The western state of Maharashtra, which has reported the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country, extended its lockdown by another month until end of July, as new cases rose in key cities such as Mumbai, Pune and Aurangabad.

Mumbai witnessed massive traffic jams on key roads connecting suburbs to the southern business district on Monday as authorities erected roadblocks to police new travel restrictions.

Under the new rule, residents can visit markets, salons, and parks within a 2 km radius of their homes, but asked not step out of the house unnecessarily. Office-goers are exempt from the rule.

(Reporting by Alasdair Pal in New Delhi and Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai; Editing by Alison Williams) ((Alasdair.Pal@thomsonreuters.com; +91 114 954 8060; Reuters Messaging: alasdair.pal.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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