India’s Covid-19 count crosses 1.65 lakh with highest single-day spike of 7,466 cases


India on Friday reported 7,467 new cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the last 24 hours in the highest single-day surge, taking the tally to 165,799, according to the Union health ministry.

According to the health ministry’s dashboard in the morning, there are 89,987 active cases of the coronavirus disease in the country and 4,706 people have succumbed to the deadly infection.

The recovery rate has gone up to 42.88% as 71,105 people, up from 67,691 patients on Thursday, have warded off the respiratory disease, data showed on Friday.

Most of India’s Covid-19 cases were reported in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Gujarat.

Maharashtra has witnessed 59,546 Covid-19 cases and 1,982 people have died in the western state so far. In Tamil Nadu, 19,372 people have contracted the disease and 145 people have died, while Delhi reported 16,281 cases and 316 fatalities till date.

The number of deaths in Gujarat, the fourth worst-hit state, was higher than Tamil Nadu and Delhi at 316 but the cases stand at 7,495 so far.

There will be a continued focus on 13 cities and five states worst hit by Covid-19 and the situation in seven states, which have seen many of their residents who were working outside come back, will be monitored as India exits the ongoing lockdown.

These cities are Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Thane, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata/Howrah, Indore, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Changalpattu and Thiruvallur, which constitute about 70% of the positive cases in the country.

The Centre has said that the focus will continue on two categories of states—those which have seen a large number of Covid-19 cases in last two and half months and those which are receiving a large number of migrant labourers.

While Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Delhi and Tamil Nadu fall in the previous category, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand fall in the second.

Madhya Pradesh, whose most important commercial city Indore was an early hotspot of the coronavirus disease is also a borderline candidate to be included in the first category.

While the former group of large states have seen a large number of cases, shorter doubling period, and higher confirmation rates in tests, the second category is seeing a late rise due to the movement of migrants.

State governments are considering the imposition of restrictions only in the containment zones and allowing a range of activities elsewhere if central guidelines allow. They have also sought to demarcate the zones based on the severity of cases and frame their own rules for activities.

They would include opening more markets, enabling more inter-state transport facilities, allowing more commercial activity, and possibly even religious places with social distancing norms, multiple state governments officials have said.

They are also planning the eventual opening of schools in a month.

The Centre gave authority to the states in the ongoing fourth phase of the lockdown to demarcate zones based on the severity of cases, and within a set of broad guidelines, allowed states to frame their own rules on the extent of activity allowed.

Several states allowed the resumption of private transport; limited public transport; shops (except in malls and shopping complexes) and industrial activities.

The Centre, in this period, also resumed the operation of domestic flights.