By SM.19 May, 2020
NEW DELHI: One hundred and nine days after the first person tested positive for Covid-19 in India, the country"s coronavirus cases crossed one lakh on Monday with more people testing positive for COVID-19 in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and other states. The cases rose even as several states announced easing of lockdown guidelines after it was extended till May 31 by the centre. Over 3,000 have died in India due to coronavirus so far.
India recorded the biggest single-day jump of 5,242 new coronavirus cases on Monday morning, with the cases hitting 96,169 before it crossed the one-lakh mark.
Several states have ordered reopening of markets, local transport and even salons in areas that are considered safe from coronavirus. However, schools, colleges, theatres and malls are among those that would remain closed.
The government has put the ball in the court of states, allowing them to colour-code the zones according to the incidence of coronavirus, thereby taking a final decision on what activities are allowed in any particular area.
The centre has made it clear that only essential activities should be allowed in containment zones. It has allowed buses and other vehicles to run. But flights and metro services remain closed.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said India has taken all necessary steps well in time to fight the pandemic.
"Global collaboration is paramount. Governments, industry and philanthropy must pool resources to pay for the risk, the research, manufacturing and distribution, but with the condition that the rewards should be available to everyone, regardless of where they have been developed," he said in his address to the 73rd World Health Assembly via video conferencing.
India undertook the COVID-19 challenge with the highest level of political commitment, he added. Therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines for the whole world is the only way out of this pandemic, the Health Minister said.
His address came after India on Monday joined 120 countries at the World Health Organisation (WHO) in pushing for an impartial and comprehensive evaluation of the global response into the coronavirus crisis as well as to examine the origin of the deadly infection.
On the positive side, the number of people recovering from the infection is steadily rising. It was 38,908 on Monday, with the recovery rate at 38.8%. With 3,103 fatalities from the virus so far, India’s death rate too is relatively low at 3.1%.
However, as the country entered phase 4 of lockdown, the number of daily cases was still rising, indicating that the infection was yet to peak. On Monday, apart from Maharashtra, the number of new cases remained high in Tamil Nadu (536), Gujarat (366), Delhi (299, a slight drop from previous days), Madhya Pradesh (254), Uttar Pradesh (177) and Bihar (103).
Rajasthan and Karnataka registered their highest single-day rise in infections, with 305 and 99 cases, respectively. West Bengal (148), and J&K (106) were also close to their highest numbers.
At 131 deaths from the virus on Monday, the toll remained above 100 for the fourth straight day. Maharashtra recorded the highest 51 deaths, including 23 from Mumbai, while Gujarat reported 35 fatalities, a majority (31) from Ahmedabad alone. The toll was 12 in Delhi, where the death rate is now slowly rising after staying low for a long time.
Among Indian cities, Mumbai has recorded the highest number of Covid-related deaths at 757 while Ahmedabad district comes second with 524. When it comes to death rates, Gujarat’s financial capital has double the rate than the Maximum City. Compared to Mumbai’s rate of 3.64%, Ahmedabad recorded 6.22%. In the month of May, the rate reduced in Mumbai but increased to 6.95% in Ahmedabad.