India's coronavirus infections spike again after dip

The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New Delhi

By Alasdair Pal and Nivedita Bhattacharjee

NEW DELHI/BENGALURU, India (Reuters) - India's coronavirus infections surged again on Wednesday, a day after falling to their lowest figure in almost a month.

In the last 24 hours, there were 83,347 new cases, with 1,085 deaths, federal health data showed.

India, with a population of about 1.4 billion, has been consistently reporting the world's highest daily tallies of infections, as it grapples with overstretched health services in the effort to control the pandemic.

Its 5.6 million coronavirus cases rank second only to the United States, and more than 90,000 people have died.

Tuesday's figure of 75,083 was the lowest since Sept. 1, and Wednesday's total is below the record 97,894 hit on Sept. 17.

But experts say it is still too early to tell if the first wave of the pandemic in the country has peaked.

"A drop over only a few days may not be significant," said Giridhara R Babu, an epidemiologist at the Public Health Foundation of India.

"We need to ensure that the increase in tests is sustained," he said, adding that it would take at least another week to tell if cases in the country had really subsided.

India's parliament, which met for the first time in six months on Sept. 14, is set to end its session on Wednesday, a week earlier than scheduled, after 30 lawmakers tested positive for the coronavirus.

(Reporting by Alasdair Pal in New Delhi and Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Catherine Evans)