Cases cross 62,000, deaths 2000

The nationwide tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases crossed 62,600 today and the death toll topped the 2,000 mark after hundreds more tested positive for the deadly virus infection in several States, while worries mounted globally about re-emergence of the outbreak after reopening of locked down economies.
Adding to the concerns, the fresh cases included at least two foreign returnees who had reached Kerala on May 7 in two separate first-day flights — one from Dubai and another from Abu Dhabi — under a massive ongoing evacuation plan of the Central Government to bring back stranded Indians abroad.
While large number of cases continued to get detected in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Delhi, among other places, experts have warned the numbers may rise further in the coming days due to the ongoing movement of lakhs of migrant workers being facilitated by trains and buses to help them reach their native places and because of a large number of Indians stranded abroad, along with expatriates, being brought back in special flights.
In its daily update, the Union Health Ministry said the COVID-19 death toll has risen to 1,981 and the number of cases has climbed to 59,662, registering an increase of 95 deaths and 3,320 cases in 24 hours till Saturday morning.
The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 39,834, while 17,846 people have recovered and one patient has migrated, it said.
However, a PTI tally of numbers reported by different states and UTs, as of 9 PM, showed at least 62,613 confirmed cases across the country, 18,715 recoveries and 2,016 deaths. This showed an increase of over 6,000 confirmed cases since Friday morning.
On Saturday, fresh cases were also reported from Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Punjab, Bihar and Assam, among other places.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said the testing capacity for COVID-19 has been ramped up to around 95,000 tests per day and a total of over 15 lakh tests have been conducted so far across hundreds of Government and private labs.
Globally, nearly 40 lakh people have tested positive for the deadly virus since its emergence in China last December, while approximately 2.75 lakh people have lost their lives. However, nearly 13 lakh people have recovered too, including nearly 2 lakh in the US and over 1.4 lakh in Germany.
Germany and South Korea are among those countries that have been seen as having successfully avoided large number of deaths by their extensive testing and contact tracing measures. But, worries mounted on Saturday about fresh outbreaks in both the countries following various lockdown relaxations, thus raising the risks associated with reopening of economies.
In India also some relaxations have been given from the nationwide lockdown, which has been in place since March 25 and is scheduled to end on May 17 as of now.
The Goa Government may allow holding of music classes and reopening of some state-run libraries in a phased manner on the condition of maintaining strict social distancing norms, the state’s Art and Culture Minister Govind Gawade said on Saturday. Goa is classified as a green zone with no Coronavirus positive case as of now.
But the ongoing lockdown is also estimated to have hit the economies hard with several experts forecasting zero to very low GDP growth for the current fiscal, while a few have even forecast a decline in the GDP if the lockdown restrictions continue longer. (PTI)


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