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India’s COVID Death Toll Passes 500,000


A health worker takes a swab sample of a women to test for COVID-19 at a testing center in Hyderabad, India, Feb. 4, 2022.

India’s official death toll from COVID-19 has passed the 500,000 mark, but public health officials have warned that the country’s totals are likely undercounted.

Also Friday, India reported 149,394 new cases. The health ministry reported 246,674 new infections Thursday.

Russia reported 168,201 new COVID-19 infections on Friday, surpassing the previous day’s high of 155,768 new cases.

The Pacific archipelago nation of Tonga had recorded only one COVID-19 case during the nearly two years of the pandemic. That has now changed since last month’s volcano eruption and tsunami in the Pacific.

An Associated Press report says that the two events “brought outside deliveries of desperately needed fresh water and medicine – and the virus.”

Two Tongan men who helped to unload the international aid tested positive for COVID-19 this week, according to AP, which reported that the island has been placed under “an open-ended lockdown in hopes of quickly containing the small outbreak.

Several other Pacific islands have also experienced small outbreaks, following the volcano and the tsunami.

Spain is set to end its outdoor mask-wearing mandate next week. The cabinet is expected to approve removing the mask requirement Tuesday and the restriction is expected to be lifted Thursday. An indoor mask mandate is expected to remain in effect.

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported that it has recorded more than 388 million global COVID-19 cases.

Some information for this report came from the Associated Press and Reuters.

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