India's parliament session that began this week is likely to be cut short after 30 politicians were found infected with the coronavirus, two senior parliament officials said, as the number of cases in the country rose to 5.3 million.

The Indian parliament met for the first time in six months on 14 September and was to function until 1 October but the two officials said its duration could be reduced by a week.

"Since the commencement of the session the number of positive cases have gone up so the government is thinking of cutting short the session," said one of the two officials, who are involved in the functioning of parliament proceedings.

The government has also mandated daily tests for journalist entering parliament to cover the session from today.

The lower and upper house secretariats did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

India, which recorded 93,337 new infections in the last 24 hours, has been posting the highest single-day caseload in the world since early August, according to a Reuters tally.

India is the second-most badly hit country after United States with total recorded coronavirus cases at 5.3 million. The virus killed 1,247 people in last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 85,619, government data showed today.

The politicians who have been infected include Nitin Gadkari,highways and small enterprises minister in Prime Minister's Narendra Modi's cabinet.

On Wednesday, India's federal government ordered its states not to hoard oxygen supplies and allow free movement to cope with the rising number of cases.


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Indonesia has reported its biggest daily rise in coronavirus infections, with 4,168 new cases today, taking the total to 240,687, data from the country's health ministry showed.

The data added 112 new deaths, taking the total to 9,448,the biggest death toll in Southeast Asia.

The number of Covid-19 cases in the United States surpassed 6.72 million yesterday, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University. 

The nationwide caseload amounted to 6,720,477, with the death toll reaching 198,469, according to the CSSE. 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated again on its website the guidelines for testing people who do not have symptoms of novel coronavirus. 

It is a change from the CDC guidance released last month, which said testing might not be necessary for people without Covid-19 symptoms. 

The guidance notes that even if people do not have symptoms, they still need a test if they have been in close contact - such as within two metres - of a person with coronavirus infection for at least 15 minutes. 

The United States is the hardest-hit country of Covid-19 in terms of cases and deaths in the world.

According to data released by the University of Michigan yesterday, the index of consumer sentiment (ICS) in September was 78.9, which has been below 80 for six consecutive months, far below the level before the outbreak of the epidemic. 

Another survey showed that about 46% of all families in the United States are facing severe financial distress during the epidemic, with low-income families and households from minority groups the worst hit.

A large portion of financial problems is concentrated among households from minority groups, specifically Black and Latino ones, in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston, according to the poll published Wednesday by National Public Radio, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, with responses gathered from 1 July to 3 August. 

US Department of Commerce announced on Wednesday that the consumer spending at gas stations, stores, restaurants and online products and services rose 0.6 percent in August from a month earlier, the third straight monthly decline. 

The economists continue to call for more fiscal stimulus to support economic growth, but the recovery in consumer spending might fade at any time as it's difficult for the Congress to reach a compromise on a new economic rescue bill.

The UK is likely to need to reintroduce some coronavirus lockdown measures sooner rather than later, a former senior government health advisor said today.

"I think some additional measures are likely to be needed sooner rather than later," Neil Ferguson, a professor of epidemiology at London's Imperial College told the BBC.

More than 30.35 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 947,400 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.