Relatives use ropes to lower the body of a person who died of COVID-19 in New Delhi, India, on Friday. Manish Swarup/AP
India's coronavirus cases on Saturday surpassed Spain’s tally, and become the fifth worst-hit country in the world affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. John Hopkins University data showed the total number of confirmed cases in the world’s largest democracy stands at 243,733, with Spain at 240,978.
India also surpassed Italy in the worst-hit nation by the coronavirus pandemic after another biggest single-day spike in confirmed infections.
The Health Ministry reported 9,887 new cases on Saturday, bringing the total to 236,657.
Most of the new cases are in rural areas following the return of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who left cities and towns after the lockdown in late March.
The lockdown is now largely being enforced in high-risk areas while authorities have partially restored train services and domestic flights and allowed shops and manufacturing to reopen. Shopping malls and religious places are due to open on Monday with restrictions to avoid large gatherings.
People walk along a street in the old quarters of New Delhi on Friday. Xavier Galiana/AFP
China’s capital is lowering its emergency response level to the second-lowest starting Saturday for the coronavirus pandemic.
That will lift most restrictions on people traveling from Wuhan and the surrounding province of Hubei, where the virus first appeared late last year. They will no longer face 14-day mandatory quarantines and other forms of monitoring, and those currently in such situations will be allowed to return to their normal lives.
Beijing residential compounds will not be required to conduct temperature checks and masks no longer must be worn for outdoor activities. Kindergartens will reopen and other grades still suspended will restart classes.
Beijing has reported no new cases of local transmission in at least 50 days and as many as 90 days in some districts.
The accident occurred before daybreak, when the truck collided with another truck that was parked by a roadside eatery in the Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh state, Abhishek Singh Meena, the top district official said.
India’s health ministry on Monday reported 14,821 new cases and about 300 new deaths, bring the toll of fatalities up to more than 13,000. The coastal state of Goa reported its first COVID-19 death.
The United States and Brazil have the highest numbers of cases but India's tally is not expected to peak for several more weeks and experts predict the one million figure will be passed this month.
The new infections confirmed in the past 24 hours raised India's cases to 566,840, the fourth-highest in the world. The addition of 418 deaths raised its fatalities to more 16,000, according to India’s health ministry. Experts say the true toll of the disease around the world is much higher.
Millions of Indians turned out to cast ballots in a state election on Wednesday in the world’s biggest vote since the coronavirus emerged, with booths packed out and many ignoring government advice on wearing masks and social distancing.
Top Turkish officials condemned a caricature scorning President Tayyip Erdogan in the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday, calling it a “disgusting effort” to “spread its cultural racism and hatred.”
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan expressed appreciation to this initiative of hosting a simple ceremony, given the current circumstances of COVID-19 pandemic.