Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair an interaction with Chief Ministers of various states next week to discuss the coronavirus situation in India which has seen a surge in new cases in recent days amid relaxations being rolled out following the two-month nationwide lockdown. The online meeting will be held on June 16 and 17, sources said.
India reported a record daily increase of novel coronavirus cases on Friday, topping almost 10,000 new confirmed cases every day this week. Declared infections are now at over 3 lakh – the fourth highest in the world. Officially there have been nearly 8,500 coronavirus deaths, although the true number is widely believed to far higher.
Anxious to revive the economy after a nearly 70-day lockdown, the government this week opened most public transport, offices and malls, even though health officials said the country was weeks away from flattening the curve of infections.
On Friday, the health ministry said the number of cases had increased by 10,956 from the previous day, with new infections rife in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, stretching hospitals to breaking point.
In New Delhi, the situation is particularly dire with the Aam Aadmi Party government this week predicting the caseload will balloon 20 fold to 5.5 lakh by the end of July, which the health care system appears woefully ill-prepared for.
Financial capital Mumbai is officially India’s worst affected city with almost 2,000 fatalities.
Despite the surge in cases nationally, which is being mirrored in other South Asian countries, the central government has declared the lockdown a success and has been steadily lifting restrictions even amid reports of patients dying after being denied care and crematoriums are struggling to cope.