India overtakes UK to become 4th worst-hit nation; Delhi will not extend lockdown, says Health Minister

India overtakes UK to become 4th worst-hit nation; Delhi will not extend lockdown, says Health Minister

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India recorded 2,97,535 coronavirus cases, data from the Union Health Ministry and Family Welfare showed this morning, passing the COVID-19 tally of the United Kingdom.

The country now is ranked fourth in the world in terms of coronavirus cases, after the US, Brazil and Russia. The nation witnessed more than 10,000 new COVID-19 cases in a day for the first time, with 10,956 people testing positive for the virus. The death toll rose to 8,498 with a record single-day jump of 396 fatalities.

Meanwhile, the lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 will not be extended in Delhi, Satyendra Jain, the health minister of Delhi said today, setting aside speculation after a spurt in virus cases over the past few days.

“No, the lockdown will not be extended,” Jain said, told news agency ANI on the possibility of the national capital imposing a total lockdown once again to control the spiraling coronavirus cases.

The confirmation came after social media and sections of the media saw a huge buzz  that the city would return to a state of lockdown from June 15 till July 31. “Relock Delhi” was trending on Twitter last evening.

The national capital has over 34,000 Covid-19 cases and 1,085 deaths. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the AAP government had estimated that by July 31, Delhi would have 5.5 lakh cases.

On Thursday, the Delhi High Court ordered that all private hospitals that have been asked to reserve 20 per cent beds for admitting coronavirus patients should conduct tests on symptomatic and asymptomatic persons, who seek admission in the hospital for undergoing surgeries and procedures of other nature as well.

The high court added that the city is “fast heading towards becoming the Corona capital of the country, an epithet the city can well do without”.

A bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad stated that all private hospitals that are equipped with laboratories to conduct Covid-19 tests and have the approval of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to do so should be allowed to conduct tests.

The directive came on the application by lawyer Sanjeev Sharma who contended that there have been several instances where non-Covid patients needing surgery or other procedures were asked to undergo Covid-19 testing before that, but the hospital concerned did not conduct the coronavirus test since they don’t have the government permission.

Meanwhile, the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic could see an extra 395 million people in extreme poverty and increase the total number of those living on less than $1.90 a day worldwide to more than 1 billion, researchers from King’s College London and Australian National Universityn said in a report on Friday.

The report – published by UNU-WIDER, part of the United Nations University – said that under the worst scenario – a 20 per cent contraction in per capita income or consumption – the number of those living in extreme poverty (defined as living on $1.90 a day or less) could rise to 1.12 billion.

The region likely to witness the biggest number of people at risk of plunging into extreme poverty was South Asia, mainly driven by populous India, added the researchers.