Maintaining the plateau of over 6,000 cases, India yesterday crossed the psychological 150,000 mark of total Covid-19 cases so far.
However it also posted a strong recovery rate of 42.44% as at least 3,935 people were also cured during the day.
A total of 6,387 new cases took the nationwide tally to 1,51,767, a Health Ministry data revealed yesterday.
There were also 170 new deaths in the past 24 hours, 97 of them in Maharashtra where there were over four deaths each hour.
It took the country just four days to reach the over 150,000 figure from 1,25,101 on May 23.
With this, India continues to remain as the tenth worst hit country by the pandemic globally.
Of the total cases so far, 83,004 are active, while 64,425 people have been cured and 4,337 have died.
Maharashtra continues to have the lion’s share of the Covid-19 cases, with at least 54,758 which is 36.08 per cent of the total cases across the country.
The state has reported 1,792 fatalities so far, as per the health ministry data.
The situation in Tamil Nadu was also worsening as total number of cases reported there hover at 17,728, followed by Gujarat with 14,821 cases and Delhi with 14,465 cases.
The rising number of cases in the country doesn’t seem to get any respite even with the rising temperature as some experts had opined.
Globally the cases of Covid-19 topped at 5.6mn and over 300,000 fatalities.
Maharashtra yesterday notched a new high of 105 Covid-19 deaths, from Tuesday’s previous high of 97 fatalities, with the number of cases shooting above 55,000, health officials said in Mumbai.
The figures include a whopping 64 deaths in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region alone, besides 2,190 new cases recorded across the state.
This comes to roughly one death every 14 minutes, and an average 91 new cases recorded every hour, in the state.
Maharashtra has been recording 90-plus fatalities and over 2,000 new patients for the past two days consecutively, with the last highest figure of infections being 3,041 cases on May 24.
With 105 fatalities, the state death toll has touched 1,897 and the total number of coronavirus patients increased from 54,758 to 56,948 now.
The Health Department said the state now had 37,125 active cases — swelling by 1,947 over Tuesday’s 35,178.
However, the doubling rate has improved from last week’s 11.5 days to 14.7 days now with a 31.5% recovery rate.
With the return of thousands of people from elsewhere in India, the spread of Covid-19 continued unabated in Assam, with its total climbing up to 774 cases, half of which are in two districts — Kamrup Metro and Golaghat, officials said yesterday.
The surge of Covid-19 also continued in other northeastern states — Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland, as thousands of people returned to their home states from southern and western India.
After the inter-state movement through road and rail networks was allowed and various restrictions lifted by the Union Home Ministry on May 4, Assam and other northeastern states witnessed a massive surge in cases.
According to Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, with 34 fresh cases, Tripura’s total count climbed to 232, including 162 Border Security Force troopers, officers and their family members.
Briefing the media, Law and Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath said that of the 1,154 people returned to the state from Maharashtra, 48 youths so far tested positive for the coronavirus.
Nagaland Health Minister S Pangnyu Phom yesterday tweeted that five more returnees from Chennai tested positive.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said that five more persons, who have returned from Delhi and Haryana recently, tested positive, taking the total number of cases in the state to 20 with seven active.
In Manipur, five more persons tested positive yesterday, taking the total number of cases in the state to 44, with 40 active cases.
Health officials in Imphal said all these people returned to the state during the past three weeks from different parts of India.
More take to the air
Air passenger numbers along with domestic flight operations continued to increase yesterday, the third day after services were resumed.
Till 5pm yesterday, 354 departures and 288 arrivals were reported, ferrying almost 48,000 people.
On Twitter, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said: “People who were stranded in different parts of the country are now able to fly to be with their loved ones.”
“Till 5pm on Day 3 today, there have already been 354 departures & 288 arrivals with a total of 47,917 people at various airports.
“The numbers continue to grow.”
Mumbai’s CSMIA saw a total of 50 scheduled flights, which included 25 departures and the rest arrivals.
“Operations are going on smoothly. Almost no flight cancellations. The passenger numbers and flights will increase from tomorrow with the addition of West Bengal,” Nishant Pitti, CEO and co-founder of EaseMyTrip.c om, told IANS.
“Plus the fact that some airlines like IndiGo and AirAsia India have started giving full refunds has started to restore passenger confidence.”
At present, barring West Bengal, domestic flight services have been resumed to all states. The first flight to and from the state will be operated today.
The federal government has allowed limited passenger flights — about one-third of the summer schedule — to operate between metros and other destinations from May 25.
Passenger air services were suspended on March 25 due to the nationwide lockdown to check the spread of Covid-19.
The Supreme Court yesterday declined to entertain a plea seeking modification of its order, which allowed Air India to fill the middle seats up to June 6 on its non-scheduled flights to bring back Indians stranded in various foreign countries.
A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and Hrishkesh Roy, declined to modify its order.
The bench noted whatever they (federal government and Air India) have done, howsoever bad it might be, let that interim arrangement continue for 10 days.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the court that the Centre has formed a committee to examine the matter.
The bench said it trusts the committee will take into account all relevant considerations.
On Monday, the bench had said: “We are of the considered view that the petitioner, Air India, should be allowed to operate the non-scheduled flights with the middle seats booking up to June 6, 2020.”
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