India records over 8,000 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours

New Age . Online Desk | Published: 13:20, May 31,2020


Passengers queue as they are checked by health workers upon their arrival from New Delhi at New Jalpaiguri railway station after the government eased a nationwide lockdown imposed as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, on the outskirts of Siliguri on May 29, 2020. — AFP photo

India recorded more than 8,000 new cases of the coronavirus disease in a single day for the first time as the tally surged to 182,143 and death toll stood at 5,164, according to the union health ministry, reports the Hindustan Times.

Data showed there were 8,380 fresh COVID-19 cases, up from Saturday’s 7,964, and 193 fatalities in the last 24 hours. The number of deaths went down from 265 reported on Saturday, a day before the fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown was scheduled to end.

India went under a sweeping, unprecedented lockdown on March 25 when people were banned from stepping out of their homes for any purpose except for a handful of essential or emergency reasons. At the time, the number of cases in the country was 602, and deaths, 12.

The curbs have slowly been relaxed in the months since the government announced on Saturday a phased Unlock 1 plan from June onwards.

There were 86,983 people who have been cured and with this, the recovery rate in the country has gone slightly up to 47.75 per cent from 47.40 per cent on Saturday.

Most of India’s 182,143 COVID-19 cases and 5,164 deaths have been reported from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh as the centre extended the nationwide lockdown to June 30 but also allowed the resumption of some activities that had remained shut till now.

Maharastra continues to be the worst-affected state and has the highest number of infections at 65,168, including 2,197 fatalities. There are 21,184 COVID-19 cases and 160 deaths in Tamil Nadu, which extended the lockdown till June 30.

Delhi, which will decide on the lockdown extension on Sunday, has 18,549 infections, including 416 deaths and Gujarat with 16,343 COVID-19 patients has recorded more deaths than the national capital at 1,007.

Globally, more than 6 million people have been infected by Sars-Cov-2, which causes the coronavirus disease, and 369,126 have succumbed, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracker.

India’s fatality rate at 2.8 per cent till Saturday was much lower than the global 6 per cent, data shows. India took 79 days to record these many deaths, while some of the major COVID-19 hotspot – such the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy – took less than a third of this duration to rack up similar counts.

According to the union health ministry on Saturday, the doubling time of coronavirus cases in India over the last fortnight improved to 15.4 days from 13.3 days.

‘Two things worked in our favour – the young demographic and early implementation of lockdown before cases exploded, helping flatten the curve and prevent deaths,’ said Ambarish Dutta, associate professor of epidemiology and public health at Indian Institute of Public Health-Bhubaneswar.

According to an analysis of laboratory-surveillance data by Indian Council of Medical Research, the attack rate of COVID-19 in India is 0.00332 per cent, which means that only 33.2 people per million population are infected.

The health ministry reiterated on Saturday that all precautions, including physical distancing at public places and workplaces, frequent hand washing and use of masks or face covers, must be taken while ‘living with the new normal’ of COVID-19.

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