Army helicopter shower flower petals in the premises of a hospital in Visakhapatnam, India, on Sunday. Reuters
Health workers cheer as an Indian Air Force Mi-17 helicopter drops flower petals over the staff of the Victoria Hospital in Bangalore. AFP
In one of the first of several gestures on Sunday, petals fell on to the upturned faces of medical personnel clad in protective gear as an army band played patriotic tunes including "Jai Ho" (May victory prevail) from the popular Slumdog Millionaire film.
In several states and territories across the vast nation of 1.3 billion people, fighter jets and transport aircraft in formations took part in low-flying aerial salutes to thank the country's so-called "corona warriors."
"The entire nation stands united in these challenging times," Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted Sunday as he praised the "commendable work" of the "frontline warriors", including police which have been enforcing the nationwide virus lockdown in place since late March.
The navy will light up its ships off the sub-continent's shores when night falls as part of the tributes.
The performances were the third public show of gratitude to health and other frontline workers, after Indians took part in nationwide clapping and lamp lighting efforts led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on previous Sundays.
The lockdown was extended for another two weeks by the government on Friday, although some restrictions were lifted in regions that have lower numbers of virus cases.
India has recorded almost 40,000 coronavirus cases, including 1,301 deaths.
The Health Ministry on Tuesday also reported 587 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities to 28,084. The number of recoveries stand at 724,577.
The Health Ministry on Saturday put the total number of cases in India at 173,763 with 4,971 deaths. The total infections included 86,422 active cases and 82,369 recoveries.
Record daily leap of 18,500 new infections; 15,685 people have died after another 385 fatalities were added to the toll in 24 hours.
Cases have fallen steadily in some Indian states hit by an initial surge in infections, such as the richest state of Maharashtra and the capital New Delhi, after they imposed stringent lockdowns. Testing rates also at their lowest since Sunday.
The NCOC late last month announced a new set of restrictions including a blanket ban on tourism and inter-provincial transport in an attempt to contain a further rise in already mounting coronavirus cases under the "Stay Home, Stay Safe” strategy.
Sheikh Mohamed and Sheikh Hamad engaged in cordial talk on the development journey the UAE is going through. They recalled the role of the founding leaders to enhance the country's global stature.
The Associated Press said on Saturday it was "shocked and horrified" by an Israeli airstrike that destroyed a building housing the US news agency's Gaza bureau and those of other international news media. The White House said it has cautioned Israel about the importance of protecting independent media.