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India's COVID cases surge amid Hindu fair and election rallies

South Asian nation becomes second after US to breach daily 200,000 mark

Hindu devotees take a dip in the Ganges River during the Pitcher Festival in Haridwar, India, on April 14, 2021.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- India's COVID-19 cases are rising exponentially as a vicious second wave of the pandemic finds fertile grounds at a mega religious gathering of hundreds of thousands in the north and at mass election rallies in other regions.

On Thursday, daily new infections reached an all-time high of 200,739, breaching the 200,000 mark for the first time. The first wave peaked in mid-September at more than 97,000 daily cases.

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