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The Latest: India adds nearly 15K cases as more states worry

Last Updated Jun 23, 2020 at 2:38 am EDT

FILE - In this April 17, 2020, file photo, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. Fauci returns to Capitol Hill on June 23, at a fraught moment for the nation’s pandemic response. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

India has added nearly 15,000 new infections to its coronavirus caseload as some of the states less affected by the initial surge of the virus are considering new lockdowns to staunch growing numbers.

India’s health ministry said Tuesday that the nationwide tally had reached 440,215 cases, including 14,011 deaths. The state of Delhi, which includes the capital of New Delhi, has reported 62,655 cases with the rate of new infections rapidly expanding in recent weeks as a nationwide lockdown has eased.

States remote from the capital including Assam in the northeast that initially reported few cases have plans to reimpose stringent lockdowns in certain districts.

The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi lifted months-long restrictions on movement and industrial and commercial activity to restart India’s ailing economy, which has shed millions of jobs.

But Sonia Gandhi, president of the main opposition Congress party, has asked the government to extend a three-month free food distribution program for India’s poorest that is due to expire soon to address a “hunger crisis.”

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

— Dr. Anthony Fauci and other health experts will testify Tuesday in the U.S. House at a fraught moment for the nation’s pandemic response.

— Schools considering how and when to reopen are overwhelmed by the expenses needed to keep students and staff safe from the virus.

— One of the Arab world’s most prestigious universities has endured civil war, staff kidnappings and economic crises in its 154-year history. The American University of Beirut now confronts a triple threat simultaneously in a pandemic, a recession and the collapse of Lebanon’s currency.

— China’s decision to ban imports from a single Tyson Foods poultry plant with infected workers has raised concerns about the implications on the U.S. meat industry if the action is expanded.

— People are flocking to South Carolina’s beaches but the coronavirus is taking no vacation. South Carolina’s new infection rate is the 4th highest per capita in the U.S.

— Major League Baseball plans to unilaterally issue a 60-game schedule for its shortest season since 1878.

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

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea says it’s testing 176 workers at the southern port of Busan following a coronavirus outbreak among crew members of a Russian cargo ship that has so far sickened 16.

Kwon Jun-wook, director of South Korea’s National Institute of Health, said Tuesday that all 21 crew members were tested after the ship arrived at Busan’s Gamcheon Port on Sunday carrying frozen seafood.

He said the ship’s captain failed to properly inform port authorities that three of the crewmembers had high fever. The 176 people being tested included cargo handlers, customs officials, repair workers and interpreters who made contact with the infected crew members. Port officials and workers earlier on Tuesday agreed to halt unloading cargo from the ship and another Russian ship at the port.

South Korea reported 46 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, including 30 linked to international arrivals. The country has been struggling to stem a resurgence of the virus in the Seoul metropolitan area, where hundreds of infections have been linked to entertainment and leisure activities, church gatherings and sales and warehouse jobs.

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MELBOURNE, Australia — Coronavirus infections in Australia’s Victoria state have prompted new school closings, and the state’s leader said there would be “significant community transmission” among the new cases.

The Melbourne suburbs where the schools are located have been identified as hot spots in recent weeks. The two primary schools have been closed for thorough cleaning after students tested positive.

Australia’s Victoria state has recorded 17 new cases. State Premier Daniel Andrews said there would be “significant community transmission” among them.

Andrews said one of the new cases was from a person in hotel quarantine, two were from known outbreaks, three were from routine testing and 11 were under investigation.

Last weekend, Andrews said large family gatherings had been the catalyst for the virus taking off again in some areas after lockdown rules were eased.

“We have seen many families, large families, that have gathered in numbers beyond the rules,” he said. “I know and understand that all Victorians want this to be over but we simply can’t pretend the virus is gone.”

In the national capital Canberra, Health Minister Greg Hunt says Australia’s borders will remain closed for “a very significant” amount of time.

Hunt says coronavirus infection rates were accelerating around the world.

“For the time being we are an island sanctuary,” he told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

There have been 102 deaths due to COVID-19 in Australia and more than 7,400 people have been infected.

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BEIJING — China has reported 22 new cases of coronavirus, including 13 in Beijing, a day after a city government spokesperson said containment measures had slowed the momentum of a new outbreak in the capital that has infected more than 200 people.

Another nine cases were brought by Chinese travellers from outside the country, seven of them on board a flight from Riyadh in Saudi Arabia that arrived in the western city of Lanzhou, capital of Gansu province, according to a notice from the provincial government.

China has reported 4,634 deaths from the virus among 83,418 total cases since it was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

While the situation in Beijing is headed in the right direction, “the prevention situation remains grave and complex,” city spokesperson Xu Hejian said at a Monday news conference.

The Associated Press