India reports record surge in Covid-19 cases | The Daily Star
06:32 PM, June 19, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 06:38 PM, June 19, 2020

India reports record surge in Covid-19 cases

Lockdown imposed in Chennai, surrounding districts

India today reported a record daily surge in the number of Covid-19 cases.

According to the health ministry data, 13,586 new Covid-19 cases were reported since Thursday, pushing the total to 3,80,532, while the death toll rose to 12,573 with 336 new fatalities, reports our New Delhi correspondent.

India is the fourth worst-hit nation by the pandemic after the US, Brazil and Russia, in terms of total number of cases.

In terms of the death toll, India is at the eighth position with 12,573 deaths till today, according to the Johns Hopkins University in the US, which has been compiling Covid-19 data from all over the world.

However, the silver lining was that the number of patients who have recovered from Covid-19 across India has crossed the two lakh mark.

The number of recoveries now stands at 2,04,710, while there are 1,63,248 total active Covid-19 cases, according to the updated official figure.

"Around 53.79 percent patients have recovered so far," the data said.

India has witnessed a surge of 1,89,997 infections from June 1 till June 19 with Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh among the top five states that have contributed to the sharp rise.

Among the 336 new deaths reported till today morning, 100 were in Maharashtra, 65 in Delhi, 49 in Tamil Nadu, 31 in Gujarat, 30 in Uttar Pradesh and 12 each in Karnataka and West Bengal.

Maharashtra registered the highest 5,751 deaths, followed by Delhi with 1,969, Gujarat with 1,591, Tamil Nadu with 625, West Bengal with 518, Madhya Pradesh with 486, Uttar Pradesh with 465, Rajasthan with 323 and Telangana with 195 deaths.

Meanwhile, the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu today imposed a lockdown with tough restrictions in Chennai and surrounding districts until June 30, Reuters reported.

Roads in Chennai, known as "India's Detroit" for its large car-making industry, were largely empty with most shops closed today amid heavy police patrolling to ensure adherence to the rules.

"Police officers and medical professionals are fighting for you. Please cooperate and be hopeful," Tamil Nadu state Health Minister C Vijayabaskar said in a tweet on Friday.

"Let's follow social distancing, stay aware and win this battle against this pandemic."

Tamil Nadu has tested over 800,000 people for Covid-19 - the highest number in the country - and its mortality rate is nearly a third of the national average. But it has been facing criticism over delayed reporting of deaths, and the number of cases and casualties have been rising steeply in recent days, mainly in and around Chennai.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi lifted most restrictions that were part of a nearly three-month nationwide lockdown on June 8, despite the continuing rise in cases.

Restrictions elsewhere in India, where states have their own powers to set health rules, have largely been eased.

Roads and businesses in the capital New Delhi, where several politicians including the state health minister have tested positive for the virus, were largely open on Friday.

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