The number of coronavirus patients in India rose to 21,700 on Thursday evening. The toll increased to 686, while the number of patients who have recovered stood at 4,323.
Maharashtra recorded 778 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, its worst single-day spike, taking the total number of patients in the state to 6,427. Mumbai accounted for 522 of these cases.
The Centre asserted that India has performed much better in containing the pandemic that developed countries, with the exception of South Korea. It added that the number of cases in India has grown in a linear fashion, not exponentially.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi said the coronavirus pandemic has spread quickly in India, but “unfortunately, testing still remains low and testing kits are still in short supply and of poor quality. PPE kits number and quality is poor”.
The Ministry of Finance announced that three installments of Dearness Allowance to central government employees or pensioners will be put on hold.
United States President Donald Trump signed an executive order temporarily suspending immigration into the country during the coronavirus pandemic.
The World Health Organization warned that most countries were still in the early stages of tackling the coronavirus pandemic and that the infection will persist for a long time to come.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the coronavirus could give some countries an excuse to adopt repressive measures for reasons unrelated to the pandemic, as he warned that the outbreak risks becoming a human rights crisis.
United States credit rating agency Fitch Ratings cut its growth forecast for India to 0.8% in the 2020-2021 financial year. Meanwhile, the World Bank said remittances to India are estimated to drop by 23% from $83 billion (approximately Rs 6,345 crore) in 2019 to $64 billion (approximately Rs 4,892 crore) this year because of the pandemic.
Globally, the toll from the coronavirus pandemic crossed 1,86000, and more than 2,660,000 cases have so far been recorded in 185 countries and territories since the disease first emerged in China late last year, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.