India is now world’s 10th worst-hit Covid-19 nation, while domestic flights resume today

India is now world’s 10th worst-hit Covid-19 nation, while domestic flights resume today

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India on Sunday became the 10th worst-affected nation worldwide, and the curve does not appear to be flattening out, even as graded relaxations in the fourth phase of the national lockdown continue.

The country has entered the list of 10 most affected nations globally by overtaking Iran in total number of coronavirus cases.

India witnessed a record surge in daily coronavirus cases for four consecutive days since Friday. India added more than 6,000 cases on Friday, 6,654 cases on Saturday, and 6,767 cases till Sunday morning. 

The country today has reported its biggest single-day spike, with 7,113 positive coronavirus cases being added and 156 more deaths being reported in the past 24 hours. 

These take India’s total number of coronavirus cases to 138,845 and deaths to 4,024, according to data compiled by Worldometer. 

Maharashtra, the most affected state, has added more than 2,000 cases on each of the past seven days.

According to the latest data from the Union Health Ministry, the state has witnessed 1,635 coronavirus deaths so far. As many as 14,600 patients have recovered in the state.

The country’s recovery rate stands at 42.28 per cent. 

On Sunday, the highest daily rise in total number of cases in percentage terms was reported by Dadra & Nagar Haveli (100 per cent), Uttarakhand (59 per cent), Assam (27 per cent), Chhattisgarh (24 per cent), Jharkhand (14 per cent), and Karnataka (12 per cent). Also, Sikkim reported its first Covid-19 case.

The Union Health Ministry on Saturday said that 70 per cent of COVID-19 cases are from 11 municipal areas spread across seven states and union territories – Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, and Rajasthan. Top health ministry officials also held a meeting with senior officials from these areas. 

The country’s top medical body, Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), found that more than 1,15,364 samples were tested for coronavirus infection in facilities across the country between Friday and Saturday. With this development, the total number of samples tested in India for the virus stands at 28,34,798 as of  May 23.

Although India has been under one of the world’s strictest lockdowns for two months now, the country may see an increase in coronavirus cases in the next few weeks as economic concerns force India to ease curbs.

India, however, will not be the first nation to see such an uptick in cases on account of lifting of restrictions as when governments in some of the most affected European countries moved to lift certain lockdown measures, a surge in the number of cases was witnessed.

Similar, is the case in Iran. The country had brought down its daily average coronavirus cases to around 1,000 by the end of April. Emboldened by a few thousand active cases at one point, Iran gradually began reopening its economy in late April to recover from the damages caused by the pandemic. But the reopening came with a price as in May, the daily average increase almost doubled. The country is now facing a second wave of coronavirus infections.

Meanwhile, Indian skies opened up for domestic passenger services today after a hiatus of two months when the Centre imposed a lockdown to contain the virus.

Most of the states in India have agreed to resumption of flight services from Monday, except for Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.

According to sources, the first flight took off from Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi today at 5 am and landed in Pune at 6:42 am. Passengers are being screened using a thermometer gun before boarding the aircraft.

India’s currency, debt and equity markets are closed today on account of Eid-ul-Fitr.