Uncertainty remained over the lifting of lockdown while the country witnessed a record jump in its daily count of coronavirus cases on Sunday (April 6). With 704 cases in the last 24 hours, the numbers now stand at 4,281 cases including 111 deaths across the subcontinent.
Here are the latest updates from the day:
COVID-19 Numbers: India’s coronavirus death toll touched 111 on Monday, while that on Sunday was 83. Currently, there are 3,851 active COVID-19 cases. According to the health ministry data updated at 6 pm, 28 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, including 21 from Maharashtra, two each from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, and one each from Punjab, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.
Lifting of lockdown: The lifting of the lockdown after completion of 21 days seems unlikely as the government has so far remained non-committal on this issue. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar has said the decision to end the lockdown will be taken at the “right time”, which will be in the national interest. A top official in UP reportedly said people will have to wait longer for lifting of the lockdown.
Pay cut for MPs, development funds suspended: The government has announced a 30 per cent cut in salaries, allowances and pensions of all MPs for one year and a two-year suspension of their local area development funds worth nearly ₹8,000 crore. It said President, Vice President and state governors have also taken voluntary salary cuts to help fund the COVID-19 fight.
1,445 Jamaat-linked cases: At least 1,445 cases have been found to be linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi, the Union health ministry said on Monday. An Union home ministry official said over 25,500 Tablighi Jamaat members and their contacts have already been quarantined after the Union and state governments conducted a “mega operation” to identify them.
Demographic: The health ministry said males account for 76% of the positive cases and females 24%. It said people aged below 40 years account for 47% of total cases, those between 40 and 60 for 34%, and those aged 60 years and above account for 19%. Males account for 73% deaths while females 27%. And 63% deaths have been reported among people aged 60 and above.
Community transmission? The Union health ministry indicated the disease is in “localised community transmission” stage with a large number of cases being found in some particular areas, amid indications that some areas including in Uttar Pradesh may not see full exit from the lockdown, reported news agency PTI.
PM’s video conference: Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked his council of ministers to prepare business continuity plans to fight the economic impact of COVID-19 on a war footing. He also indicated a phased emergence from the lockdown and said that “a graded plan to slowly open departments where hotspots aren’t existing should be made.”
New relief package: Sources said the Finance Ministry is working on a new relief package for the Indian economy that is hit hard by the outbreak and the lockdown. Last month, the government had announced a ₹1.70 lakh crore relief package in the form of food grains and cash transfers for poor and vulnerable sections to help them deal with the hardships caused by the lockdown.
Global toll crosses 70,000: Worldwide, more than 12.5 lakh have got infected by this deadly virus since its outbreak in China in December last, while over 70,000 have died including over 50,000 in Europe and more than 10,000 in the US. France said it is heading for the worst recession since World War II, while Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has proposed a state of emergency.