India has now secured the unenviable third rank among countries worst hit by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The country registered more than 6.9 lakh cases this evening, aggregating the data from state governments. We have now overtaken Russia, which had 6.8 lakh as per the Johns Hopkins University (JHU). Only Brazil and the US are ahead of India in COVID tally. Brazil has more than 15 lakh cases and the US more than 28 lakh.
India added a record number of coronavirus cases this Sunday. The health ministry reported in the morning almost 25,000 cases and 613 deaths in 24 hours — the biggest spike on a day since the first case was detected in late January.
The surge, which took the number of deaths to 19,268, coincided with infections rising in the western and southern parts of the country amid heavy monsoon rains.
Maharashtra as a whole, home to the country’s financial hub and state capital Mumbai, recorded over 7,000 new cases. Tamil Nadu recorded more than 4,200 cases. Delhi registered 2,500 fresh cases today.
India had imposed one of the world’s strictest lockdowns in March to control the virus spread, but it has been eased in phases in recent weeks to restart economic activity.
Schools, metro trains in cities, cinemas, gyms and swimming pools remain closed and international flights are still grounded.
Authorities have made wearing masks mandatory in public places, while large gatherings are banned and shops and other public establishments are required to implement social distancing.
The government has pinned its hope on vaccines being quickly developed to meet the crisis that was allegedly created by China last year.
Approval for human clinical trials for two made-in-India COVID-19 vaccine candidates marks the “beginning of the end” for the pandemic, the government said today.
Epidemiologists warn India’s peak could still be weeks or months away, suggesting the country’s already severely overburdened healthcare system will come under further stress.