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India records biggest 24-hour rise in virus cases as lockdown restrictions ease

India recorded the highest single day jump in the number of coronavirus cases with 6,654 new patients in the last 24 hours that takes the total to 1,25,101 cases, the Union Health Ministry said today.

Nearly 25,000 cases have been reported in the last four days, government data shows.

The country has registered 3,720 deaths linked to COVID-19 so far. Of these, 137 patients died in the last 24 hours.




Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended a lockdown, begun on March 25, to May 31, but relaxed rules in areas with lower numbers of cases and allowed state governments to issue their own guidelines on some matters. Airlines will be allowed to resume flights with about a third of operations as of Monday, but only on domestic routes and under rules that are among the strictest in the world.

“This surge in cases has happened after movement of people has been partially allowed. But if you see overall, this is a much lower exponential trajectory as compared to the rest of the world,” said Giridhar Babu, a professor of epidemiology with the Public Health Foundation of India.

“The only question now is: How do you reduce mortality? Do we have the capacity? The answer seems to be yes,” Babu added.



India’s contagion hotspots include the capital New Delhi, financial hub Mumbai, Modi’s home state of Gujarat, and the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

“Our COVID wards have been full for the past week, and we are expanding capacity to enable us to admit more patients,” said Dr. Lancelot Pinto, a respirologist at the P. D. Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai.