New Delhi: The new coronavirus, Covid-19, pandemic in India has crossed two grim milestones on Monday. The country saw the total number of Covid-19 cases is now over 1 lakh and the death toll due to the infection is now over 3,000.
The country, for the first time, saw the number of new cases cross the 5,000-mark, on Monday. It saw a total number of 5,242 fresh coronavirus cases – the highest in a day, so far. The day also saw 157 new deaths – the second-highest in a single day.
India has also seen 39,233 people recover from the disease.
Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research revised the testing strategy for diagnostic tests in the country. It has now expanded the criteria under which suspects will now be tested for Covid-19infection.
Currently, the COVID-19 testing is done through the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method that checks for the genetic material of Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) in suspects. Now, all asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of confirmed cases will be tested once within 5 and 10 days of coming into contact.
Government withdraws order on full wage payment by employers
The home ministry withdrew the order to companies and commercial units that made it mandatory to pay full wages to workers even when they are not operating due to the nationwide lockdown, which was imposed on March 25 as the fourth phase of the lockdown ended on Monday.
While issuing new guidelines for the fifth phase of the lockdown, dubbed as Lockdown 4.0, the Union home secretary, Ajay Bhalla, said, “Whereas, save as otherwise provided in the guidelines annexed to this order, all orders issued by National Executive Committee (NEC) under Section 10(2)(1) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, shall cease to have effect from May 18, 2020.”
The new set of guidelines released on Sunday mentioned six sets of standard operating protocols, mostly related to movement of people, which will continue to remain in force. However, it doesn’t mention the March 29 order that mandates payment of full wages to employees without deduction and on time even if the businesses/units are shut down due to the lockdown.
It must be noted that the Supreme Court asked the Centre not to take coercive action against employers for a week if they fail to pay full wages to their employers during the lockdown.
Global coronavirus cases approach 5 million
The global number of coronavirus infections is rapidly approaching the 5 million-mark. The day saw over 71 thousand new infections worldwide and over 2,650 new deaths.
Now, Russia is in the second position after the United States in the number of Covid-19 infections. Also, Brazil has pushed Italy below to occupy the fifth position in the number of coronavirus cases
However, it must be mentioned that the death toll in Russia is significantly lower than the US and its overall infection to death ratio is lower than that of many other countries. So far, it has recorded 2,722 deaths against over 290,000 infections.
Latest coronavirus India stats:
- Confirmed: 100,340
- Deaths: 3,156
- Recovered: 39,233
Latest worldwide coronavirus stats:
- Confirmed: 4,870,545
- Deaths: 319,187
- Recovered: 1,893,629
Top 5 countries with coronavirus infections:
- United States: 1,544,557
- Russia: 290,678
- Spain: 278,188
- United Kingdom: 246,406
- Brazil: 245,595
Top 5 countries with coronavirus deaths are:
- United States: 91,730
- United Kingdom: 34,796
- Italy: 32,007
- France: 28,239
- Spain: 27,709
[This story was last updated at 4am on May 19, 2020.]