- Coronavirus cases continue to rise in India
- Centre has allowed only essential activities in containment zones
- Several states have eased coronavirus lockdown restrictions
India's coronavirus cases crossed one lakh on Monday with more people testing positive for COVID-19 in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and other states. The cases rose even as several states announced easing of lockdown guidelines after it was extended till May 31 by the centre. Over 3,000 have died in India due to coronavirus so far.
Several states have ordered reopening of markets, local transport and even salons in areas that are considered safe from coronavirus. However, schools, colleges, theatres and malls are among those that would remain closed.
India recorded the biggest single-day jump of 5,242 new coronavirus cases on Monday morning, with the cases hitting 96,169 before it crossed the one-lakh mark.
The government has put the ball in the court of states, allowing them to colour-code the zones according to the incidence of coronavirus, thereby taking a final decision on what activities are allowed in any particular area.
The centre has made it clear that only essential activities should be allowed in containment zones. It has allowed buses and other vehicles to run. But flights and metro services remain closed.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said India has taken all necessary steps well in time to fight the pandemic.
"Global collaboration is paramount. Governments, industry and philanthropy must pool resources to pay for the risk, the research, manufacturing and distribution, but with the condition that the rewards should be available to everyone, regardless of where they have been developed," he said in his address to the 73rd World Health Assembly via video conferencing.
India undertook the COVID-19 challenge with the highest level of political commitment, he added. Therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines for the whole world is the only way out of this pandemic, the Health Minister said.
His address came after India on Monday joined 120 countries at the World Health Organisation (WHO) in pushing for an impartial and comprehensive evaluation of the global response into the coronavirus crisis as well as to examine the origin of the deadly infection.