The Latest: India Has Lowest Daily Virus Deaths in 3 Months | World News

NEW DELHI — India has reported 579 fatalities from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, the lowest increase in three months, driving its death toll to 114,610.

The Health Ministry on Monday also reported 55,722 new cases of coronavirus infection, raising India’s total to more than 7.5 million, second in the world behind the U.S.

A government-appointed committee of scientists said Sunday the epidemic may have peaked in India and the disease was likely to “run its course” by February 2021 if people used masks and adhered to physical distancing measures.

The number of new infections confirmed each day has declined for a month. The committee said even if active cases increased during the upcoming festive season and cold weather, they were unlikely to surpass India’s record daily high of 97,894 cases.

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

— Congress is past the point it can deliver more coronavirus relief before the election, with Washington’s differences proving insurmountable

— China’s economy accelerates as virus recover gains strength

— US can now screen millions daily with growing supply of rapid tests, but challenge will be keeping track of the results

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

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea on Monday began testing tens of thousands of employees of hospitals and nursing homes to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks at live-in facilities.

Fifteen of the 76 latest cases reported by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency were from Busan, where more than 70 infections have been linked to a hospital for the elderly. The disease caused by the coronavirus can be more serious in older people.

Health workers have been scrambling to track infections in the Seoul metropolitan area, home to about half of the country’s 51 million people, as the virus spreads in a variety of places, including hospitals, churches, schools and workplaces.

From Monday, they will start a process to test 130,000 workers at hospitals, nursing homes and senior centers in the greater capital area. Officials will also test 30,000 patients who have visited and used these facilities, but will leave out hospitalized patients, who already receive tests when they are admitted.

Officials plan to complete the tests within October and could possibly expand the screening to other regions if needed.

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