India is the world’s second most populous country and the fifth biggest economy, with trade connections all over the world. Despite that, the country of 1.34 billion has appeared to so far avoid the full hit of the pandemic. It has only 492 confirmed cases of coronavirus and nine deaths. By contrast, South Korea — which has a population only 3.8% the size of India’s — has more than 9,000 cases. While China, where the outbreak was first identified, has more than 81,000 confirmed cases in a population of 1.39 billion. Prime Minister Narendra Modi maintained there is no sign of community spread, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has praised India’s swift response, which has included grounding domestic and international commercial flights and suspending all tourist visas.
But fears are growing that the country remains susceptible to a wider, potentially more damaging outbreak. Experts have cautioned that India is not testing enough people to know the true extent of the issue — and warn that the country faces several issues that could accelerate the spread of the virus.
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