The western state of Maharashtra, home to the densely packed financial capital Mumbai, has the country's highest total, recording 6,364 fresh cases of the virus on Saturday and 198 deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
India has the third-most confirmed cases in the world, exceeding 640,000 on Saturday, according to health ministry data. It follows the United States, Brazil and Russia.
Officials in Mumbai warned residents to stay away from the coast, as heavy rains were predicted for the next 48 hours. The monsoons typically cause waterlogging in many parts of the city and could scuttle coronavirus containment efforts by causing a further rise in infection numbers, experts say.
In the southern state of Tamil Nadu, the second worst-hit state in India, the number of cases crossed 100,000.
India had imposed one of the world's harshest lockdowns in March to control the virus spread, but it has been eased in phases in recent weeks to restart economic activity. Epidemiologists warn India's peak could still be weeks or months away, suggesting the country's already severely overburdened healthcare system will come under further stress.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to strictly observe social distancing and wear face masks, saying such precautions are the only option available until a vaccine is developed.
In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region: Authorities in Thailand are expected next week to extend a coronavirus state of emergency that critics say has been used to silence political dissent. The National Security Council declared it will recommend that the emergency decree be extended at least until July 31. The decree allows the government to implement curfews, censor the media and disperse gatherings.
Australia reported 37 new cases, including 30 in Victoria state, where health authorities are scrambling to contain an outbreak. Authorities said they tested 20,000 people after going door-to-door in Melbourne suburbs in their attempts to stamp out the virus. In Sydney, a 12-year-old student tested positive, forcing the closure of his school for cleaning. New Zealand, meanwhile, reported one new virus case from a returning traveller. New Zealand has 14 active cases, all of them returning travellers who remain quarantined.
South Korea reported 39 new cases, mostly from the Seoul metropolitan area where officials have been struggling to stem transmissions. South Korea was considered an anti-virus success story after containing an outbreak during February and March surrounding the southeastern city of Daegu.
China reported a further decline in new cases on Friday, with 13. Eleven were in Beijing, where mass testing has been done following an outbreak that appears to have been largely brought under control.
Japan's capital confirmed 54 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, a level which is raising concerns about the possible need for additional cautionary steps. Japan lifted a seven-week state of emergency in late May, and social and business activity has since largely resumed. Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said the daily increase in cases is rather high, but the city's hospitals and medical systems have not been overwhelmed. Most of Friday’s new cases were people in their 20s and 30s, Koike said.
Source : Afghan Voice Agency(AVA)
Saturday 4 July 2020 13:46