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Health workers put on a protective suit before screening people for COVID-19 symptoms in Dharavi , one of Asia's biggest slums, in Mumbai on August 11, 2020. Image Credit: AP

New Delhi: India reported 53,601 new cases of coronavirus Tuesday as its total infections neared 2.3 million.

The Health Ministry also said 871 deaths were newly reported, raising total fatalities to 45,257.

India has been posting an average of around 50,000 new cases a day since mid-June.

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Its total infections are third in the world, behind the United States and Brazil. The three countries account for half of the world’s 20 million cases. The true numbers around the world are thought to be much higher because of factors including low testing and the possibility the virus can be spread by people who don’t have symptoms.

The Indian Council of Medical Research, India’s top medical research body, said nearly 25 million samples have been tested.

Health experts, however, say the country needs to test more people given its big population. A country of 1.4 billion people, India has been conducting a little less than 18,000 tests per million population.