Coronavirus cases in India climb to 11,439, death toll at 377

New Delhi: There were more than 1000 cases of the coronavirus infection and 38 deaths in India in the last 24 hours, the Union health ministry said on Wednesday morning.

Out of the 11,439 Covid-19 cases, 9756 are active, 1306 people have been cured, discharged or migrated and 377 have died, according to the health ministry website at 8am.

The jump in numbers come on the first day of the second phase of the lockdown as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday. Prime Minister Modi announced in an address to the nation on Monday that the ongoing 21-day national lockdown will now be extended for another 19 days until May 3.

Experts said the extension would flatten as well as delay the cycle of infections even as both the opposition and industry criticised his speech for its silence on a much-needed economic relief package.

The government will announce the detailed modalities of the lockdown’s second phase on Wednesday as it looks to get a grip on the ballooning Covid-19 cases.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has said that it is critical to increase testing for the coronavirus disease as the number of cases in India is “rising exponentially”, a development that comes even as the government awaits the arrival of rapid testing kits from China.

The rapid testing kits, which search for antibodies in blood samples, were first supposed to arrive on April 5. The expected date of delivery was later revised to April 10, and then to April 15. There was, however, no clarity if all kits ordered by India would arrive by Wednesday.

Maharashtra continued to report more cases of Covid-19 with more than 3000 infections. Out of the 3124 coronavirus infections, 279 people have been cured or discharged and 178 people have died to date, according to the Union health ministry.

The slum cluster of Dharavi continued to a worry spot for authorities.

In Delhi, where the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has increased the number of containment zones to more than 50, there were 1621 Covid-19 cases. The national capital has witnessed 30 fatalities due to the coronavirus disease.

Tamil Nadu inched towards 1300 cases with 1204 Covid-19 patients, 81 discharges and 12 deaths.

The coronavirus infections across the world topped 1,980,003 and there were 126,557 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracker.


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