India’s death toll from the coronavirus has risen past 100,000, making it only the third country in the world to reach that bleak milestone after the United States and Brazil, and its epidemic shows no sign of abating.

Total deaths rose to 100,842 on Saturday, the health ministry said, while the tally of infections climbed to 6.47 million after a daily increase in cases of 79,476.

India has the highest rate of daily increase in infections in the world.

Narendra Modi’s government, faced with a collapsing economy after imposing a tough lockdown to try to stalk the spread of the virus in late March, is pushing ahead with a full opening of the country.

Data showed a little over seven per cent of the population of 1.3 billion had been exposed to the virus, meaning India was still far from any sort of herd immunity.

The number of cases could rise to 12.2 million by the end of the year but the rate of spread would depend on how effective measures such as social distancing were, she said.

The United States, Brazil and India together account for nearly 45 per cent of all COVID-19 deaths globally.

However, death rates in country have been significantly lower than in those other two countries, raising questions about the accuracy of its data.

The United States and Brazil have seen six deaths per 10,000, while India has on average less than one death from the disease for every 10,000 people.

Health ministry and the Indian Council of Medical Research’s representatives did not immediately respond to calls or emails for comment.

Because of the high incidence of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, there could be greater immunity in india. Health experts said.

Nearly 1200 people in india die of TB every day, roughly the same as deaths from COVID-19.

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