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Thursday February 25th, 2021 8:56PM

The Latest: Indian cases spike, retesting ordered for some

By The Associated Press
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India edged closer to recording nearly 100,000 coronavirus cases in 24 hours as it ordered retesting of many people whose first results were from a less reliable testing method that's being widely used.

According to the Health Ministry, India recorded another spike of 96,551 cases in the past 24 hours, taking its caseload to 4.56 million. It also reported on Friday another 1,209 deaths, taking total fatalities to 76,271.

It also said some negative rapid antigen tests should be redone through the more reliable RT-PCR method, the gold standard of coronavirus tests that looks for the genetic code of the virus. The retesting order applied to people who had negative results but had fever, coughing or breathlessness, or people who developed those COVID-19 symptoms within three days of their negative test results.

Using the rapid antigen, or viral protein, tests has allowed India to dramatically increase its testing capacity to more than 1.1 million a day, but the quicker, cheaper test is less reliable and retesting is often recommended.

The directive was meant to ensure infected people did not go undetected and to check the spread the disease among their contacts.

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

— Schools that are mostly Black, Latino favor starting online, which could worsen inequalities in education

— Americans are commemorating 9/11 with tributes that have been altered by coronavirus precautions

— In Peru, where virus has been particularly deadly, Indigenous people turn to ancestral remedies

— Myanmar bans flights, travel from its largest city Yangon as virus spreads

— Kansas City Chiefs begin NFL title defense with victory over Houston Texans before socially distanced crowd

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

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea’s daily count of new coronavirus cases is under 200 for a ninth straight day, continuing a downward trend in fresh infections for the country.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday the 176 cases added in the previous 24 hours took the national tally to 21,919, with 350 deaths.

South Korea’s daily caseload was above 400 in late August, with clusters of new infections in churches, schools, restaurants and other spots, mostly in the Seoul metropolitan area. The outbreak has gradually slowed after authorities imposed stronger social distancing rules.

Health official Yoon Taeho says the government believes the country’s caseload is in general on a downward trajectory though he urges people to keep trying to reduce face-to-face contacts with others and follow social distancing guidelines.

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