New Delhi: The worldwide death toll due to the raging coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic has crossed the 100,000 mark, on Friday, while the total number of infections across the world is set to cross 1.7 million, on Saturday, according to the latest figures collected by America’s Johns Hopkins University. India witnessed a record spike in new infections with 873 fresh cases reported in the last 24 hours. The country also saw 20 more deaths in the same period.
The World Health Organization has warned that a premature lifting of restrictions on peoples’ movements by countries fighting COVID-19 could lead to a “deadly resurgence” of the pandemic. The director general of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said it was working with countries on ways in which lockdowns could be gradually eased. However, he warned that doing so too quickly could be dangerous.
Speaking during a virtual news conference from Geneva, Ghebreyesus said, “I know that some countries are already planning the transition out of stay-at-home restrictions. WHO wants to see restrictions lifted as much as anyone.”
In India, Maharashtra continues to lead the states in terms of the number of people infected. The state reported over 200 new infections on Friday followed by Delhi, 183; Gujarat, 116; and Rajasthan, 98.
Meanwhile, the government tried to allay fears of shortage of antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), which some sections of the medical community treating COVID-19 patients have said as “effective”. India, the largest producer of the drug, exported some of its stock to the United States and some other countries. Union health ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal said India has 3.38 crore tablets of HCQ available, which is three times the country requires. He said the domestic production for the drug has been “100 per cent ensured for now and for future”.
With speculation on whether the lockdown will be extended or not rife in the country, media reported that the prime minister, Narendra Modi, is likely to address the nation once again to announce his decision on whether the coronavirus lockdown will end, on Tuesday. Modi is scheduled to hold a meeting with state chief ministers via a videoconference, on Saturday.
The latest coronavirus India stats:
- Confirmed: 7,598
- Deaths: 246
- Recovered: 774
- Active: 6,578
The latest worldwide coronavirus stats:
- Confirmed: 1,684,833
- Deaths: 102,026
- Recovered: 375,499
Top 5 countries with coronavirus infections:
- United States: 496,535
- Spain: 158,273
- Italy: 147,577
- France: 125,931
- Germany: 122,171
Top 5 countries with coronavirus deaths are:
- Italy: 18,849
- United States: 18,586
- Spain: 15,970
- France: 13,215
- United Kingdom: 8,974
[Source: Johns Hopkins University & Medicine]
[This story was last updated at 5.46am on April 11, 2020]