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 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.
Daily infections, which surpassed 100,000 for the first time on Monday, have now exceeded that mark three times, the biggest daily rises in the world.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that as a gesture of solidarity with the people of India, Pakistan has offered to provide relief support including ventilators, oxygen supply kits, digital X-ray machines, PPEs and related items.
Twitter was caught up in the heated political atmosphere leading up to the 2020 election, particularly when it banned former president Donald Trump following his incitement of the Jan.6 riot at the US Capitol.
Fuel prices for December slightly dropped by 1 per cent or 3-4 fils compared to November.
The Court of Misdemeanors in Dubai sentenced a gang of 3 Arab and Asian nationals to one year in prison and fined them jointly Dhs5.194 million for defrauding a GCC national of an amount equal to the fine on the pretext of a fake vehicle deal.