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Asia Today: India's confirmed virus cases near 8 million

A Buddhist monk wearing a mask against the spread of the new coronavirus offers prayers in the Ginza shopping district in Tokyo on Oct. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

NEW DELHI (AP) -- India's tally of confirmed coronavirus cases is moving closer to 8 million, with 43,893 new cases reported in the latest 24-hour period.

    The total reported Wednesday includes the highest single-day number of cases for New Delhi, the Indian capital -- 4,853.

    The Health Ministry also reported 508 fatalities from COVID-19 across India in the past 24 hours, raising the total to 120,010.

    India's caseload is second in the world behind the United States, which has over 8.7 million confirmed cases.

    In September, India hit a peak of nearly 100,000 reported cases in a single day, but since then daily infections have fallen by more than half and deaths by about a third.

    In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

    -- Authorities in Sri Lanka have closed several museums as a new wave of coronavirus cases is detected in different parts of the country. The government's Information Department said Wednesday the museums run by the Central Cultural Fund in five cities have been closed until further notice. The government has already closed cinemas, bars, restaurants, casinos, nightclubs, betting centers and spas in an effort to contain the spread from a cluster of cases centered at a garment factory near Colombo, the capital. Health authorities said the cluster has grown to 5,395, while the total number of cases since March stands at 8,870, including 19 deaths. With the surge in new cases, the government has closed schools and key public offices, banned public gatherings and imposed restrictions on public transport. A curfew has also been imposed in parts of Colombo and some areas outside the capital.

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