India on Sunday became the eighth-most affected country in the world, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. According to the tracker, India has 1,84,735 cases. However, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said India’s tally stood at 1,82,143 infections after a record daily jump of 8,380 new coronavirus cases.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that as the lockdown imposed to limit the spread of the coronavirus is slowly lifted, it is time for people to be even more careful. “Whether it is the rule of keeping ‘do gaj ki doori’ [physical distance of 6 feet] from each other, wearing masks, staying at home as much as possible, all these should be followed strictly,” Modi said.
The Delhi government on Sunday requested the Centre for an assistance of Rs 5,000 crore to pay salaries to its employees and meet office expenses. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that the lockdown has badly affected the economy of the Capital.
Several state governments announced relaxations on Sunday, a day after the Centre launched the “Unlock 1” phase of the lockdown. Here is what is now permitted (and still prohibited) in these states.
A huge group of supporters gathered to welcome Maharashtra Congress leader Chandrakant Handore in Mumbai on Saturday night, as he returned home from hospital after being cured of the coronavirus. A video of the gathering showed that the supporters completely disregarded physical distancing norms, beat drums and burst crackers.
The chief of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India’s largest chain of industrial laboratories, and two other scientists criticised a study published in The Lancet medical journal, on the lack of benefits of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19, calling it “sloppy”. They also said the WHO’s decision to suspend trials of the drug was a “knee-jerk” reaction and opposed the move.
Delhi, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu on Sunday recorded the highest single-day spike. Maharashtra’s tally went up to 67,655 with over 2,400 new infections.
The Railways said it will begin operations of 200 special trains from June 1 and more than 1.45 lakh passengers will travel on the first day. Passengers will have to reach station at least 90 minutes before departure and only travellers with confirmed or RAC tickets will be allowed to enter the station and board trains.
Prominent public health experts in India, including two members of a research group constituted by the National Task Force set up by the Indian Council for Medical Research, have criticised the Centre’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak and the failure to consult epidemiologists about the disease. “It is unrealistic to expect that Covid-19 pandemic can be eliminated at this stage given that community transmission is already well-established across large sections or sub-populations in the country,” the statement said.
The total number of coronavirus crises in the world stood at 60.98 lakh on Sunday evening, including 3,69,847 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.