India's COVID-19 infections surge past 100,000, deaths top 3,000

Coronavirus cases in India reached 100,000 on Tuesday (May 19), matching the number of intensive care unit beds in the country, while the rate of new infections showed little sign of slowing.

India reported 4,970 new cases over the past 24 hours, taking the total from the outbreak to 101,139. Deaths rose by 134 to 3,163.

The number of Indian cases has easily outstripped China, where the virus originated late last year and which has been one of the infection hotspots in Asia.

China has reported just under 83,000 COVID-19 cases, but has kept the daily rise in new infections to single digits for the past week. In contrast, new cases in India continued to rise by an average of more than 4,000 each day over the past week, according to a Reuters tally based on official data, despite a severe weeks-long lockdown.

India officially extended that lockdown on Sunday to May 31, although several states indicated they would allow businesses to reopen.

Health experts and officials are worried about the strain the epidemic is placing on India's over-stretched and under-funded hospital system.