According to a data released by the Johns Hopkins University, India surpassed Spain to become the fifth worst-hit nation by the novel coronavirus outbreak. The country recorded a huge spike in cases for four consecutive days pushing total infections to more than 2,43,733.
India, in less than 24 hours, surpassed Italy and then Spain to reach the grim milestone. Meanwhile, few countries like the US, Brazil, Russia and the UK are ahead of India.
India detected a record single-day spike of 9,887 cases and 294 deaths by Saturday 8 am, according to the Union Health Ministry. This pushed the total tally to 2,36,657 and the death toll to 6,642. The country registered more than 9,000 cases for the third day in a row.
Anxious to jump-start an economy crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government has put millions of people back to work, easing its lockdown restrictions imposed since March 25, which the Centre confirms helped avoid an exponential rise in cases.
The national capital, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, which account for nearly half of the nationwide coronavirus tally, saw a record rise of around 10,000 cases on June 6. These four have a similar share in the death toll, which is fast approaching the 7,000-mark.
After including three other major urban clusters hit by the Covid-19 pandemic -- Ahmedabad, Indore and Pune -- the seven of them together account for 60 per cent of overall confirmed cases and more than 80 per cent of the deaths across India, as per the latest data disclosed by various states and union territories.
Restrictions to be loosened from June 8
Restrictions will be loosened from tomorrow, June 8, but some experts are worried it is too soon.
The World Health Organization (WHO) also said that India's lockdown had helped it dampen down transmission of the disease, but there was a risk the cases could rise again.
"As India and in other large countries open up and people begin to move there is always a risk of the disease bouncing back up," Dr Mike Ryan, head of WHO's emergencies programme, told a news conference in Geneva.
Citizens while visiting places of worship will have to wash their hands and feet, and there will be no distribution of food offerings, sprinkling of holy water or touching of idols and holy books.
Covid-19 cases top 6.8 million globally
Confirmed coronavirus cases globally topped 6.8 million, reaching 6,800,604, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.
As many as 396,591 people worldwide have died of the disease.
(With agency inputs)