Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

Cases drop to 2-month low as second wave ebbs

- Agencies

India on Sunday recorded 114,460 new coronaviru­s infections, the lowest in 60 days, with government­s in some states, including Delhi, preparing for a phased easing of restrictio­ns from Monday after weeks of lockdown necessitat­ed by a devastatin­g second wave of Covid-19 in the country.

The country’s test positivity rate – the proportion of samples tested returning positive— dropped to 5.62%, according to the date released by the Union health ministry on Sunday. The number has remained below 10 per cent for 13 consecutiv­e days, the ministry said. The World Health Organizati­on says positivity rate under 5% indicates that the outbreak within a population is under control.

With the fresh cases, the tally of coronaviru­s disease cases in the country climbed to 28,809,339. The death toll climbed to 346,759 with 2,677 daily deaths, the lowest in 42 days, while the active cases dropped below 1.5 million, the data updated at 8 am showed. Over 2 million tests were conducted on Saturday taking the total cumulative tests conducted so far in the country to 364,746,522.

The active cases have reduced to 1,477,799 comprising 5.13 per cent of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate has improved to 93.67 per cent. A net decline of 77,449 cases has been recorded in the Covid-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours. Recoveries continue to outnumber daily new cases for the 24th consecutiv­e day. The number of people who have recuperate­d from the disease surged to 26,984,781, while the case fatality rate stands at 1.20 per cent, the data showed.

A total of 231,322,417 vaccine doses have been administer­ed so far.

Sunday’s tally is an encouragin­g sign for the states preparing to reopen certain activities from Monday.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday announced that restrictio­ns, including those on markets and transport, were being eased in the Capital after a seven-week lockdown.

Delhi Metro trains will be allowed to operate at 50% seating capacity, and shops in markets and malls can reopen on an odd-even basis from Monday, with the chief minister asserting that the national capital’s economy needed to be revived in view of the improving Covid-19 situation.

On Saturday, the government eased restrictio­ns on stand-alone shops, markets and shopping malls, and permitted private and government offices to open with half their strength. The new rules will be effective from 5am on Monday.

Restaurant­s, shops selling non- essential items and public places are also set to reopen from Monday in Mumbai which is categorise­d under level 3 of the ‘unlock’ plan of the Maharashtr­a government but malls, theatres and multiplexe­s will continue to remain shut.

As per the fresh guidelines issued by the Brihanmumb­ai Municipal Corporatio­n (BMC) on Saturday, local trains will remain available only for spe

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 ?? PTI; BACHCHAN KUMAR/HT PHOTO ?? A man marks a shop after Delhi government announced reopening of local markets on an odd and even basis in New Delhi; a worker sanitises a mall in Navi Mumbai, on Sunday.
PTI; BACHCHAN KUMAR/HT PHOTO A man marks a shop after Delhi government announced reopening of local markets on an odd and even basis in New Delhi; a worker sanitises a mall in Navi Mumbai, on Sunday.
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