India's health ministry reported 4,187 fatalities over the past 24 hours, taking the overall death toll close to 240,000. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates that India will see 1 million COVID deaths by August.
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 forum reviewed the implementation of SOPs during Eid holidays and expressed its satisfaction. It also appreciated the efforts of all stakeholders, especially the cooperation rendered by the public across the country..."
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has asked all states to ensure strict compliance of Covid containment measures, as the case load is decreasing but numbers are still high.
"If cases continue to drop for a week, then from May 31 we will start the process of unlocking," Kejriwal told a news conference. Delhi reported around 1,600 new COVID-19 cases in the previous 24 hours, he said.
In Britain, where the rapid progression of the Delta variant has forced the government to delay its full reopening, thousands of anti-lockdown protesters meanwhile took to the streets of London to voice their frustration.
Already battling a third wave of infections and increasingly nervous about the crisis across the border in India, the government has imposed the most severe restrictions since a one-month lockdown in April last year.
The national capital territory of Delhi was among those relaxing restrictions and will allow shops to open on alternate days. Private offices will also now be allowed to operate at 50% of normal staffing levels.
“During lockdown I became sure that I have to start learning abstract professionally and after the lockdown was lifted I joined a professional abstract painting course and with each passing day I am more passionate and in love with what I’m creating.
The ban, which runs to Jan.22, excludes indoor political party events of less than 300 people, or at 50% of a venue's capacity, the watchdog said in a statement. India reported 268,833 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours.