The Union health ministry on Friday said that 80% of the active cases in the country were in five states. Five major cities – Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Thane – account for 60% of the active cases, the ministry added. India recorded 6,088 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours – the biggest single-day jump in figures so far. With this, the total number of cases reached 1.18 lakh and the toll rose to 3,583 after 148 new fatalities.
Japan included India and 11 other countries on its travel advisory list.
Maharashtra’s coronavirus tally came close to 45,000 with a record 2,940 new cases in a day. The Maharashtra government announced that it will take over 80% of the beds in private hospitals and nursing homes across the state for the treatment of coronavirus patients. The government also capped charges for treatment for Covid-19 and other illnesses at the facilities. Mumbai reported 1,751 coronavirus cases, taking the tally to 27,068. The toll stood at 909. The city’s civic body permitted the home delivery of liquor in non containment areas.
The Tamil Nadu government asked the Centre not to restart domestic flights till May 31, when the nationwide lockdown imposed to limit the spread of the coronavirus is scheduled to end. The Ministry of Civil Aviation had announced on Wednesday that some domestic flights will begin to operate from May 25. National carrier Air India, meanwhile, began accepting online booking of tickets for domestic journeys from today. Private carriers, including IndiGo, GoAir and Vistara, have also reopened their bookings.
The Centre said visa and travel restrictions imposed during the nationwide lockdown have been relaxed for certain categories of Overseas Citizens of India. Those who can return to the country now include children of OCI card holders, university students who have their parents in India, or those who wish to come back on account of family emergencies.
Opposition parties, led by the Congress, placed 11 demands before the Centre after their meeting on the coronavirus situation. The demands included free travel for migrant workers, direct cash transfers to families outside the Income Tax bracket and restoration of parliament sessions.Congress President Sonia Gandhi referred to the Centre’s economic package as a “cruel joke on the country”.
The Reserve Bank of India reduced the repo rate by 40 basis points to 4% to counter the economic fallout from the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The reverse repo rate was also reduced by 40 basis points to 3.35%. The central bank refrained from giving a projection for the economic growth for the current financial year, but said GDP growth for 2020-’21 will remain in the negative territory.
Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha on Friday said that he has tested positive for the coronavirus. In a tweet, he advised people to not underestimate the risk of infection and said everyone was susceptible to the disease.
Globally, the total number of cases is now over five million, according to a tracker by the Johns Hopkins University. The toll is 3,35,418. The United States alone accounts for nearly 1 lakh of these deaths.