The state of Maharashtra continues to be worst-affected in the country. On Sunday the state recorded over 3,000 cases.
The number of Covid-19 cases in India on Sunday rose to 1,31,868 with 6,767 new infections reported in the last 24 hours. Of these, 73,560 cases are active infections, while 54,440 patients have been discharged. The death toll has climbed to 3,867.
The state of Maharashtra continues to be worst-affected in the country as it recorded over 3,000 cases on Sunday, taking the state tally to over 50,000. With 58 deaths due to the pandemic reported during the day, the death toll in the state rose to 1635. Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray hinted at a possible extension of lockdown in the state after May 31, saying that it was wrong to impose the lockdown suddenly and that it cannot be lifted all at once.
Globally, over 5.2 million people have been infected with the novel coronavirus, including 3.4 lakh deaths. Brazil has surpassed Russia to become the nation with the second-highest number of infections, behind only the US, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.
Coronavirus (Covid-19) Tracker India Highlights: Cases in India rise to 1.31 lakh; Centre plans to resume international flights before August. Follow LIVE updates. Read in Malayalam and Tamil here
India has been able to contain the virus through early implementation of nationwide lockdown.
Even by a simple model, at least 14-29 lakh coronavirus cases and between 37,000 and 71,000 deaths have been averted, said the Centre Friday, highlighting how India has been able to contain the virus through early implementation of nationwide lockdown.
In a routine press briefing to apprise media about the coronavirus situation in the country, Praveen Srivastava, a senior officer with the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), said the government has shared publicly available data with independent experts to model the impact of lockdown, adding that “in pandemic like this there are no parallels to compare”.
“Two independent economists have estimated that we have averted 23 lakh cases and 68,000 deaths. According to some retired scientists about 15.9 lakh cases and 51,000 deaths have been avoided, my ministry worked with Indian Statistical Institute and found 20 lakh cases were averted,” said Srivastava. “The way we are opening up economy, the way people are sensitised, it will have significant impact,” he added.
In a country of over 1.15 lakh coronavirus infections, the serene and calm islands of the union territory (UT) of Lakshadweep remain an outlier with no positive cases so far. Nagaland and Sikkim are the two other Covid-free states.
Health officials of the UT, whose 64,000 population is highly dependent on Kerala for their medical needs, attribute the success so far to early preparedness, mandatory testing of its residents and strict quarantine. The achievement is especially remarkable as there had been constant movement of people and essential supplies between Kerala and the islands till mid-March.
It was only rational for the UT authorities to test and treat them in Kerala as the islanders anyway depend on the state for treatment of advanced and critical medical cases. Health officials also utilised the initial few weeks of the lockdown to spread awareness among the remote inhabited parts of the islands about the virus and ramp up health facilities in case of an accidental transmission.
Reserve bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das (Express Photo by Prashant Nadkar)
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday slashed its key policy rates to stabilize the financial system and tackle the economic fallout from the ongoing nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The RBI panel unexpectedly cut the repo rate by 40 basis points to 4 per cent and the reverse repo rate by 40 basis points to 3.35 per cent. In another significant move, the RBI also announced extension of moratorium on loan repayments by another three months to August 31.
What will be the impact of rate cut?
The 40 bps cut in the repo rate – the interest rate that the RBI charges for funds given to banks – will make funds cheaper for banks thus aiding them to bring down lending rates. This comes at a time when credit offtake is sluggish and investments have halted in the economy. EMIs on home, auto, personal and term loan rates are expected to come down in the coming days.
However, banks will also slash deposit rates on various tenures to manage its asset-liability position. Savers and pensioners will see their returns coming down.