Coronavirus, India: At least 1,981 deaths linked to COVID-19 have been reported so far.
India reported 3,320 new coronavirus patients and 95 deaths linked to the highly contagious illness in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 59,662 cases, the Union Health Ministry said this morning. At least 1,981 COVID-19 deaths have been registered so far and 17,847 patients have recovered, according to the government data. The recovery rate stood at 29.91 per cent this morning, an improvement over 26.59 per cent registered on Sunday. The pandemic will hit its peak in India in July-end before being contained, World Health Organization's special COVID-19 envoy Dr David Nabarro told NDTV on Friday. "When the lockdown lifts, there will be more cases. But people should not be scared. In coming months, there will be an increase in (the number of) cases. But there will be stability in India..." he said. "There will be sporadic outbreaks over time immediately after the lockdown. Thereon, the outbreaks will be contained. I agree with the timing. Around July-end, there will be a flat peak but it will get better," he added.
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Nearly 100 days after it reported India's first COVID-19 case, Kerala has flattened its curve, state's Finace Minister Thomas Isaac tweeted this morning. "On the 100th day of confirmation of the first case of COVID, Kerala flattened the curve. Only 16 active cases remain in hospitals. We are bracing ourselves for the 3rd wave (sic)," he tweeted. The southern state has been admired for its COVID-19 response.
Over 350 Indians were brought back to the country in two special Air India flights from the UAE late on Friday as a part of the government's Vande Bharat mission launched earlier this week to repatriate Indians stranded abroad amid a nationwide lockdown to tackle spread of COVID-19.
The mega mission will be expanded to countries like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Germany, Spain and Thailand from next week, official sources said on Friday.
India will have to learn to live with coronavirus, the government said on Friday. "Today, it is important that when we are talking of relaxations and return of migrant workers, then there is a big challenge in front of us which we have to understand. We have to also learn to live with the virus. And when we are talking about learning to live with the virus, then the preventive guidelines against the virus need to be implemented as a behavioural change," senior Health Ministry official Lav Agarwal said a daily press briefing.
Around 60 per cent of COVID-19 cases have been reported from eight major cities, including Mumbai and Delhi, data from the respective state governments showed on Friday. Mumbai (11,394 cases and 437 deaths), Delhi (5,980 cases and 66 deaths) and Gujarat's Ahmedabad (4,491 cases and 321 deaths) alone recorded over 42 per cent of all cases.
The five other cities on that list are Pune and Thane in Maharashtra (4.92 per cent and 2.32 per cent), Madhya Pradesh's Indore (3.26 per cent), Chennai in Tamil Nadu (2.47 per cent) and Rajasthan's Jaipur (2.1 per cent).
More than 2.5 lakh passengers have traveled on 222 special trains for migrant labourers stranded because of coronavirus lockdown in a week, the Union Home Ministry said on Friday, news agency PTI reported. The special trains were launched week by Railways.
Maharashtra continues to remain the worst-hit state in India due to the pandemic. As number of COVID-19 cases surged to 19,000 on Friday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said: "We have to come out of the lockdown one day or the other. We can't be living permanently like this. But to come out of this sooner, you need to follow rules and maintain discipline of social distancing and use face mask."
Around 500 security forces personnel stationed in Delhi and operating on the frontlines of the war against the novel coronavirus have been infected. The BSF (Border Security Force) tops the list with 195 soldiers testing positive; two BSF soldiers died Thursday. The CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) has also been hit, with 159 confirmed cases, two of whom were soldiers deputed to the Union Home Ministry. Nearly 900 CRPF soldiers in quarantine.
Worldwide, over 40 lakh people have contracted the illness, nearly 2.7 lakh have died. The Unites States, which is the epicentre of the pandemic, recorded 1,635 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the total to 77,178.