Indian PM warns coronavirus spreading to rural areas

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India’s prime minister has warned people to take extra precautions as the devastating coronavirus outbreak is spreading fast to rural areas, where nearly two-thirds of the country’s 1.4 billion people live.

Narendra Modi urged local people, village councils and state governments to come together to meet the challenge.

Mr Modi said the army, navy and the air force have joined the fight against the pandemic across the country.

“We have lost a lot of near ones. I am feeling the pain people are suffering,” Mr Modi said in Friday a speech at a farmers’ convention.

Meanwhile, India’s health ministry reported reported 343,144 new cases in the past 24 hours, a slight decline from the day before.

Another 4,000 people died in the past 24 hours, raising total fatalities to 262,317 since the pandemic began.

All of the figures are almost certainly a vast undercount, experts say.

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