India records 1,428 new Covid-19 cases, 57 deaths in last 24 hours

India records 1,428 new Covid-19 cases, 57 deaths in last 24 hours

There were 1,429 new cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and 57 deaths across the country in the last 24 hours, the Union home ministry said on Saturday, which marks a month since India was put under a nationwide lockdown.

India’s tally of the coronavirus disease stands at 24,506—including 18,668 active cases, 5063 cured, discharged or migrated and 775 deaths, according to the health ministry’s dashboard at 8 am.

India had 606 cases and 10 fatalities before all transport was banned, offices and schools closed, and people told to stay indoors unless they were out for essential purchases or services on March 25, the first day of the lockdown.

Officials have said the lockdown has substantially slowed the growth of the Covid-19 outbreak.

“If we go back to March 21, cases were doubling in around three days. An important turn came on March 23, after the Janta Curfew. The direction changed and the doubling rate increased to five (days),” VK Paul, NITI Aayog member said on Friday during the government’s daily briefing.

“By then, we already put in place travel restrictions and had created an environment of social distancing. There were some setbacks in between but from April 6, doubling time started improving,” he said.

Paul, who also heads one of the high-level task forces coordinating the Covid-19 outbreak response, said India’s current doubling rate is 8.6 days.

According to Paul, cases will decline and more gains will be reflected in the “first, maybe even second week of May”.

Experts, however, warned the numbers may not be an accurate representation of the outbreak.

The Indian Council of Medical Research data shows the number of daily tests on Wednesday and Thursday were around 40,000 each. This number was 20,864 on March 25.