India has become the fifth worst coronavirus-hit country in the world as it surpassed Spain on Saturday, reporting a grand total of around 2,44,000 cases. The European country, a COVID-19 epicentre weeks ago, has 2,40,978 cases. Now, only the US, Brazil, Russia and the UK have more cases than India.
On Saturday morning, the health ministry data said India reported 9,887 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours in the biggest one-day spike so far. There has been a minor fall in recovery rate compared to Friday, from 48.27 per cent to 48.20 per cent. The number of deaths reported in the last 24 hours is 294, taking the total in India to 6,642.
The country on Friday took over Italy, one of the biggest sufferers of the disease, in terms of total cases. Figures from America's Johns Hopkins University around Friday midnight showed India at 2,35,769 and Italy at 2,34,531.
Though the count of recoveries has risen, India still has more than 1 lakh active cases across the country. The cases have been rising sharply, by 8,000 or more, for several days now.
At least 19 states now have their tallies of confirmed cases in four or more digits, as against just nine on May 1. Also, three states now have five-digit tallies, as against only Maharashtra in that category on May 1.
While Delhi and Gujarat already have their tallies running into five digits, at least three other states - Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh - have total confirmed cases of more than 9,000.
Maharashtra tops the charts in terms of total confirmed cases, active cases, recoveries and deaths. Delhi is at the second place in terms of active cases, though it is third after Tamil Nadu in terms of total cases. Gujarat is ranked second for fatalities, followed by Delhi at the third place.
Maharashtra on Saturday reported 2,739 cases and 120 deaths, taking its total to 82,968. Tamil Nadu on Saturday reported 1,458 coronavirus cases. Delhi, with 1320 cases reported in 24 hours, has a total of 27,654 cases.
The government last month extended the lockdown till June 30 as it revealed a phased plan to unlock India. Malls, hotels, restaurants and places of worship can open on June 8 except in containment zones, the areas with the most number of coronavirus cases.
Restrictions were removed on movement of people and goods between states. Night curfew stayed, but the timings were changed to 9 pm-5am from the existing 7 pm-7am.