The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 2,16,919 after 9,304 people tested positive for the infection in 24 hours. This is the biggest single-day increase in the number of cases. The country’s toll reached 6,075 with 260 new deaths.
The Centre issued the Standard Operating Procedure to contain the spread of the coronavirus at malls, places of worship, restaurants, offices and hotels.
Maharashtra recorded the highest number of deaths within 24 hours after 123 casualties. The toll in the state has risen to 2,710. With 2,933 new positive cases, the tally jumped to 77,793.
The Supreme Court passed an interim order that no coercive action should be taken against companies and employers who fail to comply with the Centre’s March 29 order requiring payment of full wages to their workers during the coronavirus-induced lockdown. The Centre said that the employers who are incapable of paying salaries must be directed to furnish their audited balance sheets and accounts in the court.
The Supreme Court also directed Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to work out a common policy for interstate movement in a week. The top court asked the Centre to call a meeting to discuss the matter.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that coronavirus cases are increasing in the national Capital and private hospitals, which are unable to reserve 20% beds for the treatment of patients, will be fully converted into Covid facilities. He added that the Delhi government is focused on saving lives.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison held an online bilateral summit, the first such one held by Modi with any global leader during the lockdown. While focusing on ways to further improve bilateral ties in areas of healthcare, trade and defence, Modi said it was the “perfect time and perfect opportunity” to strengthen the relation between the two nations.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said India is the only country where the number of coronavirus infections has increased after the easing of the nationwide lockdown. He added that the Centre has now backed off and left the states to deal with the crisis. Industrialist Rajiv Bajaj, on the other hand, called India’s lockdown “draconian but porous”. He claimed the lockdown ended up flattening the Gross Domestic Product curve instead of the coronavirus curve.
Anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine failed to prevent healthy people, who were exposed to the novel coronavirus, from getting the infection, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. It was the first major randomised clinical trial looking at whether the medication might be useful as a prophylactic.
Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 64.29 lakh people and claimed over 3.85 lakh lives as of Thursday morning, according to the Johns Hopkins University. As many as 27.89 lakh people have recovered.