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A health worker collects a swab sample from a girl for coronavirus testing at New Ashok Nagar, in New Delhi, India, in August. Photo: Mohd Zakir/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

India is now second only to the U.S. for coronavirus cases after surpassing Brazil for infections on Monday morning.

By the numbers: India has reported more than 4.2 million COVID-19 infections and Brazil has confirmed over 4.1 million cases, per Johns Hopkins data. However, Brazil has the world's second-highest death toll, with the virus claiming the lives of 126,650 Brazilians.

  • India has the third-highest death toll, with the novel coronavirus killing 71,642 people as of Monday morning, according to Johns Hopkins.
  • In the U.S., more than 188,941 people have died from the virus and over 6.2 million have tested positive.

The big picture: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government launched in March the biggest lockdown in the world for the country's 1.3 billion people. But the economy has suffered and businesses have gradually reopened, Bloomberg notes.

  • The surge in infections come as the capital Delhi reopened its metro system after five months of shutdown, per the BBC.

Go deeper

Dec 15, 2020 - Health

FDA review confirms Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective

Photo: Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration released detailed data on Tuesday showing Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is safe and "highly effective" in preventing cases of the virus in adults.

Why it matters: It clears the way for the emergency authorization of a second coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. as soon as this week, making inoculation available to millions more Americans.

Dec 15, 2020 - Health

FDA grants emergency authorization to over-the-counter, at-home COVID test

A medical worker dressed in PPE prepares to take a throat swab sample for a rapid antigen COVID test. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization Tuesday to Ellume's over-the-counter antigen COVID-19 test for fully at-home use.

Why it matters: Once available, a person in theory would be able to buy the test in a drug store, swab their nose, and run the test for results in about 20 minutes.

Dec 15, 2020 - Health

America's rural outbreaks near their vaccine

A UPS driver delivers 2,900 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in Galveston, Texas. Photo: Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images

America's rural and underserved areas are one step closer to an easily accessible vaccine, thanks to the FDA approaching emergency authorization for the Moderna vaccine.

Why it matters: "Moderna is the one that I would take out to rural areas and community health centers and private doctors' offices," Harvard public health professor Barry Bloom told the N.Y. Times.