The Republic of India overtakes the Russian Federation as the third worst-hit nation in the COVID-19 tally, now preceding only Brazil, which has 15 lakh cases and the United States with more than 28 lakh cases.
According to data from state governments, India logged more than 6.9 lakh cases on Sunday evening, overtaking Russia, which had 6.8 lakh as per America’s Johns Hopkins University (JHU). The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare(MoHFW), Government of India, reported 25,000 cases and 613 deaths in 24 hours — the biggest daily spike since the first case was detected in late January.
Infections rose in the western and southern parts of the country amid heavy monsoon rains surging the number of deaths to 19,268. Maharashtra, the worst-hit state recorded over 7,000 new cases while Tamil Nadu and Delhi recorded more than 4,200 and 2,500 fresh cases respectively.
India had imposed one of the world’s strictest lockdowns in March to control the virus spread, but it had been eased in the unlocking phase to restart the economic activities. While schools, metro trains in cities, cinemas, gyms, swimming pools remain closed and international flights still grounded; authorities have made wearing masks mandatory in public places, while large gatherings are banned and shops and other public establishments are required to follow the norms of social distancing.
The government has pinned its hope on vaccines being quickly developed to meet this crisis. Approval for human clinical trials for two made-in-India COVID-19 vaccine candidates marks the “beginning of the end” for the pandemic, said the government on Sunday.