With a record spike of nearly 20,000 cases in a day, India’s COVID-19 tally mounted to 5,28,859 on Sunday and the death toll rose to 16,095, while Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh announced a door-to-door survey joining several states and UTs which have opted for the exercise in their efforts to check the surge.
The Centre noted that recoveries exceeded active COVID cases by over one lakh, stressing that “proactive steps” taken by it along with the states and union territories are showing “encouraging results”.
The number of active cases stands at 2,03,051, while 3,09,712 people have recovered and one patient has migrated, according to the updated data.
“Thus, around 58.56 per cent patients have recovered so far,” an official said.
“The graded, preemptive and proactive steps taken by the Government of India along with the states and UTs for prevention, containment and management of COVID-19 are showing encouraging results,” the Union health ministry said in a statement.
India saw a surge of 3,38,324 infections from June 1 till date as the lockdown restrictions eased.
The country reported 19,906 cases on Sunday.
This is the fifth consecutive day that coronavirus infections have increased by more than 15,000.
As the country enters the “unlock” phase, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, it will have to focus on defeating coronavirus and bolstering the economy. India has always transformed adversities into stepping stones to success and this year won’t be different, he said.
He said people have to remain more vigilant compared to the lockdown period.
“Always remember, if you do not wear a mask, do not observe the two-yard social distancing norms or do not take other precautions, you are putting others at risk besides yourselves, especially the elderly and children at home,” he cautioned in his monthly “Mann ki Baat” radio address.
Speaking in the same vein, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said the restrictions will continue even after June 30 as the crisis is not over.
“Even if I am not using the term lockdown, do not misunderstand and lower your guard. In fact, we need to show more stringent discipline,” he said.
“We can’t leave this war halfway in this final phase. I am sure that you will continue to cooperate with the government to ensure that lockdown is not reimposed,” he said in a televised address.
The unlock process, dubbed Mission Begin Again by the state government, is being gradually implemented to put the economy back on track, Thackeray said.
Maharashtra has reported the highest number of cases at 1,59,133 followed by Delhi at 80,188, Tamil Nadu at 78,335, Gujarat at 30,709, Uttar Pradesh at 21,549, Rajasthan at 16,944 and West Bengal at 16,711, according to the ministry data.
The Mumbai Police urged the city residents not to move beyond two-km radius of their homes for the purpose of exercise or visiting shops and salons, in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Movement beyond two km is permitted only for attending office or medical emergencies, a senior police official said, adding that movement outside this radius for shopping is strictly prohibited.
With the further easing of coronavirus-induced curbs in the state, some salons opened in Mumbai on Sunday after a gap of three months while many remained closed due to lack of manpower.
Thackeray also said the ‘Chase the Virus’ initiative that received good results in worst-hit Mumbai will now be expanded to other parts of the state.
As part of the campaign, 15 close contacts of a COVID-19 patient will be compulsorily kept in institutional quarantine.
It was launched on May 27.
In Delhi, where authorities are implementing a revised strategy after a major surge in cases, the number of COVID-19 containment zones has risen from 218 to 417 after a re-mapping of such areas, while around 2.45 lakh people have been screened in a mammoth house-to-house survey to check the spread of COVID-19
Officials said the count of containment zones is expected to jump further as the authorities in some districts were yet to complete the task of redrawing such areas following the Centre’s directions.
“We have screened around two lakh people for COVID-19 in house-to-house survey being conducted across the city. Also, 45,000 people have been screened in COVID-19 containment zones,” an official said.
The process of screening every household has to be completed by July 6.
According to the 2011 Census, there were over 34.35 lakh households in the national capital, including 33.56 lakh in urban areas and 79,574 in rural areas.
Other states with more than 10,000 cases are Telangana (13,436), Haryana (13,427), Madhya Pradesh (12,965), Andhra Pradesh (12,285) and Karnataka (11,9230).
Stepping up surveillance, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh will also conduct house-to-house survey like Delhi, Goa, Odisha and Jharkhand.
Uttar Pradesh’s Additional Chief Secretary (Medical and Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said the state will launch a large-scale campaign from Meerut division in July, where house-to-house survey will be undertaken similar to the pulse polio immunisation.
“It will be carried out in containment and non-containment zones,” he said.
The Madhya Pradesh government said it will launch a ‘Kill Corona’ campaign from July 1 to control the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
Under the campaign, door-to-door survey will be conducted and tests would also be done on citizens for other diseases as well, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said during a virtual review meeting on the COVID-19 pandemic
Chouhan said during the 15-day campaign, 2.5 lakh tests will be carried out and 15,000 to 20,000 samples would be collected daily, according to a press release.
In Karnataka, Bengaluru police said criminal cases will be filed against those flouting face mask and social distancing rules and public can call police in case someone refuses to follow the COVID-19 preventive norms in the city,
While police and civic body officials will patrol city roads and enforce the mask rule and social distancing, the public can also do their bit and ask every other person to follow them, Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao said said in a series of tweets as the government stepped up efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Bihar’s backward and extremely backward classes welfare minister Vinod Kumar Singh and his wife tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday and were sent to an isolation ward at a city hotel in Katihar district, officials said.
India now has 1,036 diagnostic labs dedicated to COVID-19.
This includes 749 in the government sector and 287 private labs.
“Daily more than 2,00,000 samples are being tested. The samples tested in the last 24 hours have further increased to 2,31,095. The total number of samples tested, as on date, is 82,27,802,” the Union health ministry statement stated.
As on June 28, the COVID related health infrastructure has been strengthened with the availability of 1,055 dedicated COVID Hospitals with 1,77,529 isolation beds, 23,168 ICU beds and 78,060 oxygen supported beds, it said.
Of the 410 new deaths reported till Sunday morning, 167 were in Maharashtra, 68 in Tamil Nadu, 66 in Delhi, 19 in Uttar Pradesh, 18 in Gujarat, 13 in West Bengal, 11 each in Rajasthan and Karnataka, nine in Andhra Pradesh, seven in Haryana, six each in Punjab and Telangana, four in Madhya Pradesh, two in Jammu and Kashmir and one each in Bihar, Odisha and Puducherry.