India on Monday surpassed Russia’s coronavirus count to become the third worst-affected nation.

With 24,248 new cases and 425 deaths in 24 hours, India’s Covid-19 tally rose to 6,97,413 and the toll increased to 19,693. As many as 4,24,432 people have recovered so far, while 2,53,287 people are still undergoing treatment.

With this, only the United States (28.8 lakh) and Brazil (16.03 lakh) have more cases than India now, according to the Johns Hopkins University. Russia currently has 6.8 lakh cases. The global coronavirus count is now 1.14 crore, while the toll has crossed 5.3 lakh. More than 61 lakh people have recovered so far.

Maharashtra continues to be the worst-affected state in India, with 2,06,619 cases and 8,822 deaths. This is followed by Tamil Nadu (1,11,151 cases and 1,510 deaths) and Delhi (99,444 cases and 3,067 deaths), according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s latest data.

The sharp increase in coronavirus numbers is worrying since India has now entered the second phase of coronavirus lockdown relaxations, as part of its “Unlock 2” phase in the fight against the pandemic.

All means of transportation, except metro services and international flights, have opened up. Inter-state movement has been permitted, and malls, restaurants and religious places have been opened. From Monday, several monuments in non-containment zones across the country have also opened to the public. Training institutions of state and central governments will be allowed to function from July 15, though schools and colleges will be shut till July 31 at least.

However, states and Union Territories were allowed to decide what amenities would be permitted outside containment zones, depending on the coronavirus situation there. Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu extended the lockdown till July 31, and Nagaland till July 15. States also extended the lockdown in certain cities such as Chennai, Madurai, Trivandrum and Guwahati to control the situation.

The countrywide lockdown was first imposed on March 25, and was extended four times prior to the “Unlock 1” phase.

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