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By The Associated Press

NEW DELHI — India has confirmed another record jump in coronavirus cases, logging 97,894 cases in the past 24 hours.

The Health Ministry said Thursday that the new cases raised the nation’s confirmed total to more than 5.1 million since the pandemic began. It said 1,132 more people died in the past 24 hours, for a total of 83,198.

At the current rate of infection, India is expected within weeks to surpass the 6.6 million reported cases in the United States, currently the country with the most reported infections.

Nationwide, India is testing more than 1 million samples per day.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK

— Trump disputes health officials, sees mass vaccinations soon

— New companies face tough task overcoming pandemic, recession

— Hawaii to allow travelers to skip quarantine with virus test

— UK to ration COVID-19 testing amid testing failures

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Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. humanitarian chief says reports from inside Syria point to “a much broader spread” of COVID-19 cases than the 3,628 confirmed cases conveys.

Mark Lowcock told the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday that the extent of the outbreak won’t be known until laboratory testing is increased across the country.

He said: “We do know that community transmission is widespread, as almost 90% of newly confirmed cases cannot be traced to a known source.”

He added: “Infection rates among health workers have also been rising.”

Lowcock said even before the pandemic, Syria had a shortage of health workers, and supply shortages and temporary shutdowns have added “even more pressure to the decimated health system.”

He said on Aug. 27 the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported among residents at two camps for the displaced in the northeast, al-Hol and Areesha. He said five health care workers at a field hospital in al-Hol had tested positive in the previous weeks.

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HONOLULU — Hawaii’s governor says that starting Oct. 15, travelers arriving from out of state may bypass a 14-day quarantine requirement if they test negative for the coronavirus.

Gov. David Ige said Wednesday that travelers will have to take the test within 72 hours before their flight arrives in the islands. Ige says drug store operator CVS and healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente will conduct the tests.

The state has previously delayed the start of the pre-travel testing program twice as COVID-19 cases spiked on the U.S. mainland and in Hawaii.

Leaders hope pre-travel testing will encourage tourists to return while keeping residents safe. Tourism traffic to the state has plunged more than 90% during the pandemic, closing hundreds of hotels and putting many people out of work.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Indian Man Accused of Slashing Pregnant Wife's Stomach 'To Check Gender'

By Saurabh Sharma

LUCKNOW, India (Reuters) - A man has been arrested in northern India after slashing his pregnant wife's stomach with a sickle, leaving her critically ill and causing the death of their unborn baby boy, police and her relatives said.

The woman was in intensive care in a hospital in the capital, New Delhi, said police in Budaun, Uttar Pradesh state, following Saturday's attack.

Her brother said the attack took place because the husband wanted to know the baby's gender. The couple already had five daughters.

"He attacked her with a sickle and ripped her stomach saying that he wanted to check the gender of the unborn child," the woman's brother, Golu Singh, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Police said the baby was stillborn late on Sunday and a man had been remanded in custody.

Daughters are often seen as a burden in India, with families having to pay dowries when they marry, while sons are prized as breadwinners who inherit property and continue the family name.

Abortions of female fetuses have been banned in India, where the preference for boys has led to a dwindling number of girls.

According to a government survey released in July, India's gender ratio, or the number of females per 1,000 males, was 896 between 2015 and 2017, down from 898 in 2014-2016 and 900 in 2013-2015.

Indian law bans doctors and health workers from sharing an unborn child's sex with the parents, or carrying out tests to determine the child's gender, and only registered medical practitioners are allowed to perform abortions.

(Reporting by Saruabh Sharma @saurabhsherry, Additional reporting by Annie Banerji @anniebanerji, Editing by Helen Popper; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit news.trust.org)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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