Coronavirus Outbreak LATEST Updates: The head of the World Health Organization warned that the coronavirus pandemic is worsening globally, even as the situation in Europe is improving. At a press briefing on Monday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted that about 75% of cases reported to the UN health agency on Sunday came from 10 countries in the Americas and South Asia. He noted that more than 100,000 cases have been reported on nine of the past 10 days and that the 136,000 cases reported Sunday was the biggest number so far.
The toll due to coronavirus in India climbed to 7,135 and the total number of persons infected increased to 2,56,611 on Monday as malls, temples and restaurants re-opened in various parts of the country after nearly two months under the Centre’s ‘Unlock’ plan.
However, Mizoram extended ‘complete lockdown’ in the state for two weeks and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced that the lockdown would continue in the state for 15 more days till 30 June.
India reports 206 deaths, 9,983 cases in 24 hours
In the 24 hours since 8 am on Sunday, India registered 206 fatalities and a record single-day spike of 9,983 cases, taking the toll to 7,135 and case count to 2,56,611 , according to Union health ministry data.
The number of active novel coronavirus cases stands at 1,25,381 while 1,24,094 people have recovered, said the ministry. “Thus, around 48.36 percent patients have recovered so far,” a senior health ministry official said.
Of the 206 deaths reported since Sunday morning, 91 were in Maharashtra, 30 in Gujarat, 18 each in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, 13 each in West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, nine in Rajasthan, four in Haryana, two each in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand, and one each in Odisha and Punjab.
Out of the total 7,135 fatalities, Maharashtra has reported the highest with 3,060 deaths followed by Gujarat with 1,249 deaths, Delhi with 761, Madhya Pradesh with 412, West Bengal with 396, Uttar Pradesh with 275, Tamil Nadu with 269, Rajasthan with 240 and Telangana with 123 deaths.
Maharashtra also accounts for the highest number of cases at 85,975, followed by Tamil Nadu at 31,667, Delhi at 27,654, Gujarat at 20,070, Rajasthan at 10,599, Uttar Pradesh at 10,536 and Madhya Pradesh at 9,401, according to the health ministry’s data updated in the morning.
The number of COVID-19 cases has gone up to 8,187 in West Bengal, 5,452 in Karnataka, 5,088 in Bihar and 4,708 in Andhra Pradesh.
The ministry’s website said that 9,189 cases are being reassigned to states and “our figures are being reconciled with the ICMR”.
Separately, the health ministry asked officials of 45 civic bodies across 38 districts in 10 states, which account for around 78 percent of the country’s total COVID-19 cases, to bolster house-to-house surveys, prompt testing and surveillance measures to contain the infection and reduce mortality.
“In view of the easing of lockdown and lifting of curbs, states were advised to make a district-wise prospective plan for the coming months,” the ministry said.
Malls, restaurants, religious places open
Also on Monday, the country began emerging out of a 75-day lockdown with malls, religious places and offices opening in several parts of the country under strict conditions limiting the number of people and mandating sanitisation of all premises.
However, amid strict guidelines preventing trial of clothes in malls in some states, and distribution of ‘prasad’ in religious places, footfall remained low.
Gurdwaras, temples, mosques and churches opened their doors in several parts of the country, including in Delhi, West Bengal and Karnataka, but the entry of devotees was restricted in keeping with social distancing norms. In some places, temple bells were wrapped in cloth.
The historic Jama Masjid in Delhi and the Golden Temple in Amritsar saw the devout come in, albeit in far fewer numbers, after the long gap.
#WATCH Punjab: Devotees visit Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) in Amritsar to offer prayers as Government allows reopening of religious places from today. pic.twitter.com/QOUOmzOVGl
— ANI (@ANI) June 8, 2020
The Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya, too, opened with precautions. According to chief priest Acharya Satyendra Das, only five people were allowed to pay obeisance at a time and that too 15 metres away from the idol of Ram Lalla.
The government last week issued a set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) outside containment zones, mandating strict adherence to contain the spread of COVID-19. Cinema halls, spas, metro services and swimming pools remain closed. The SOPs were advisory in nature and the state governments were left to finetune the details.
In Tamil Nadu, where shops had opened some time ago, restaurants were closed for dine-in customers but takeaways continued. In West Bengal, shopping malls, restaurants and other establishments reopened to a cautious welcome too.
The Mamata Banerjee-led government had eased curbs in the state from 1 June, allowing places of worship to reopen and full operationalisation of the jute, tea and construction sectors.
People came out on the streets of Kolkata in large numbers, with many flouting the social distancing norms. Traffic snarls were reported from several areas as government offices started operating with 70 percent attendance and most private offices and establishments recommenced near-normal functioning.
‘Mission Begin Again’ took off in Maharashtra, the worst-affected state, in a truncated form without malls or religious places re-opening but with offices and several shops back in business.
In the state capital Mumbai, offices opened in many places, including the Bandra-Kurla Complex and Lower Parel. Shops in key market areas of Dadar, Colaba and Kurla also opened for businesses.
Though the lockdown is in force till 30 June, the Maharashtra government, as part of the phase-wise reopening of the economy and public activities, has allowed private offices to resume operations with 10 percent staff. About 2,100 buses hit the city roads till noon, a BEST statement said.
Mumbai: Heavy traffic jam seen on Western Expressway Highway. #Maharashtra pic.twitter.com/43ov1KKUgI
— ANI (@ANI) June 8, 2020
In Kerala as well, government offices began functioning with full staff from Monday in accordance with a state government order.
The Odisha government took a call to keep its religious places, shopping malls, hotels and restaurants closed till 30 June in a clarification issued late on Sunday.
West Bengal, Mizoram extend lockdown
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday extended lockdown announced that the lockdown, which was set to end on 15 June, has been extended in the state for another 15 days.
West Bengal Government extends lockdown measures in the containment zones up to 30th June. The maximum number of people limited to 25 at places of worship (at a time), wedding ceremonies (guests), & funeral/last rites. pic.twitter.com/hcD3wYfoQG
— ANI (@ANI) June 8, 2020
“The lockdown is being extended in the state till 30 June, with all existing relaxations and conditions still in place. Earlier, we had allowed only 10 people at social programmes such as a marriage or a funeral ceremony, now we have increased it to 25,” she said after a meeting of the state Cabinet.
In Mizoram, a consultative meeting of ministers, association of doctors, churches, NGOs, local and village councils chaired by Chief Minister Zoramthanga unanimously decided to impose a total lockdown till 22 June to contain the rapidly increasing COVID-19 cases in the state
Officials told PTI that a complete lockdown would continue in towns and cities, but there could be “area-wise moderation”, particularly in rural areas.
The northeastern state on Monday reported eight coronavirus cases, taking the tally from 1 to 42 in a week.
Many states and Union Territories continued reporting a rise in infections and deaths and a PTI tally put the total number of coronavirus cases in the country till 9.35 pm at 2,57,777 and deaths at 7,468. According to the news agency, a total of 1,28,508 persons have recovered from the viral infection.
The number of confirmed cases in Gujarat rose to 20,574 with the addition of 477 new infections, while 31 more patients died, taking the toll to 1,280, the state health department said. In Ahmedabad, number of fatalities went up by 24 to 1,039 while cases increased by 424 to 14,631.
Maharashtra reported 2,553 new COVID-19 cases and 109 deaths, taking the case count to 88,528 and number of fatalities to 3,169. Mumbai alone has recorded over 50,000 cases and 1,702 deaths.
Tamil Nadu reported 1,562 new coronavirus cases and 17 deaths pushing the infection count to 33,229 and toll to 286 as state government asserted that there were sufficient beds for COVID-19 patients in government and private hospitals. It also said a portal would be launched to provide information on occupancy and vacancy in hospitals.
Kerala’s case count crossed 2,000 with 91 new positive cases being detected and a Madlives returnee succumbing to the virus on Monday, taking the death toll due to the infection to 16. With the fresh tests, the state’s infection tally touched 2,004 while the active cases stood at 1,174 with 814 recoveries, including 11 who were discharged on Monday,state Health Minister KK Shailaja said.
In Delhi, the number of confirmed cases climbed to 29,943 and the toll mounted to 874 as 1,007 new cases and 17 deaths were recorded.
Delhi LG overrules two AAP govt orders
Lt Governor Anil Baijal overruled two controversial orders of the AAP government — one on reserving Delhi government-run and private hospitals in the National Capital for Delhiites and another allowing COVID-19 test of only symptomatic patients.
In his first order, Baijal made it clear that the Supreme Court has invariably held in several successive judgements that ‘Right to Health’ is an integral part of ‘Right to Life’ under Article 21 of the Constitution and directed that all patients in Delhi be given treatment.
The development came a day after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced that hospitals run by the Delhi government and private entities will only treat Delhiites during the coronavirus crisis due to the likely rise in cases in the National Capital in the coming days.
In his second order, Baijal said all nine categories people, including asymptomatic, as prescribed by the ICMR should be tested for COVID-19.
The Aam Aadmi Party reacted sharply to the LG’s move, alleging that he had been pressured by the BJP which is doing “dirty politics” on the issue.
बीजेपी की राज्य सरकारें PPE किट घोटालों और वेंटिलेटर घोटालों में व्यस्त हैं. दिल्ली सरकार सोच समझकर, ईमानदारी से इस डिज़ास्टर को मैनेज करने की कोशिश कर रही है. यह बीजेपी से देखा नहीं जा रहा इसलिए LG पर दबाव डालकर घटिया राजनीति की है. https://t.co/65l87GZfi3
— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) June 8, 2020
With inputs from agencies