Total cases near 18,000, States cautious in easing lockdown restrictions

Total cases near 18,000, States cautious in easing lockdown restrictions

India on Monday reported over 1,500 new cases of the deadly novel coronavirus, talking the national tally near 18,000-mark with over 550 deaths. Amid mounting toll and tally, several states sought to contain the ballooning economic cost of the pandemic by easing some lockdown curbs, while several others chose to keep people off roads to arrest the virus spread.

The first set of relaxations from the nationwide lockdown, which came into effect on March 25, kicked in at select places across Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Goa among other states, even as several states like Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana chose to keep a tight vigil.

According to the Union Health Ministry figures, the number of coronavirus positive cases saw a sharp increase of 1,553 between Sunday and Monday, while there has been a recovery rate of about 15 per cent.

In its 5 PM update, the Ministry said the Covid-19 death toll has risen to 559 and the number of cases has risen to 17,656 across the country.

However, a PTI tally of figures reported by various states and union territories, as on 9.15 PM, showed 18,322 confirmed cases, 2,969 recoveries and 590 deaths. Maharashtra alone has reported 4,666 cases, while Delhi has also crossed 2,000. Gujarat has over 1,900 cases, while Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan are above 1,500 each, closely followed by Madhya Pradesh at over 1,400.

Fresh cases reported from various parts of the country included those of police personnel in Gujarat, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh, of health workers at various places, journalists in Mumbai and even of prisoners in Madhya Pradesh's Indore.