India overtakes China in number of cases

NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s confirmed coronavirus cases have surpassed China’s, with the Health Ministry yesterday reporting a spike to 85,940 infections and 2,752 deaths.

China has reported 82,941 confirmed case and 4,633 deaths since the virus was first detected late last year in the central city of Wuhan.

The worst-hit Indian states are Maharashtra with 29,100 cases, Tamil Nadu with 10,108, Gujarat with 9,931 and New Delhi with 8,895.

In the last 24 hours, India had confirmed 3,970 new cases and 103 fatalities.

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is due to announce a decision on whether to extend the 54-day-old lockdown.

Early this month, the government started gradually easing the restrictions to resume economic activity by allowing neighbourhood shops to re-open and manufacturing and farming to resume. It also has resumed limited train services across the country to help stranded migrant workers, students and tourists.

Meanwhile, restrictions put in place to stop the coronavirus from spreading across Australia have eased, but the public was warned to take their newfound freedoms carefully to prevent a second wave of the pandemic.

Australia states and territories have begun the first of a three-stage process to lift restrictions on outdoor and indoor gatherings and business operations. But Australian Medical Association President Tony Bartone urged people to remain vigilant because the virus is still present in the community and could flare up. The number of confirmed cases passed 7,000 on Friday, but the death toll from the pandemic remains at a relatively low 98.

Migrant workers wait outside a railway station to catch a train to return to their homes, in Mumbai, India. PHOTO: AP