Coronavirus India: news summary for 30 July
Coronavirus live India: latest news - 30/31 July
India coronavirus latest: 03:00 IST on Friday, 31 July (23:30 CEST on 30 July)
According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 17,130,295 cases have been detected worldwide, with 669,160 deaths and 10,003,911 people recovered.
In India, there have been 1,582,028 confirmed cases and 34,956 deaths, with 1,019,740 people recovered from the virus.
India rules out "herd immunity"
The Health Ministry has said so-called "herd immunity" is not an option for a nation of India’s size and that following social norms and awaiting a vaccine is the only option to beat the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
"In a country the size of [and with] a population like India, herd immunity can’t be a strategic choice or option," the ministry said.
Medical staff of the Tata Memorial Centre cancer hospital rub sanitiser on their hands after inspecting the arrangements at a temporary facility to screen patients for Covid-19 coronavirus and run outpatient department check-ups, in Mumbai. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE / AFP)
Rajasthan registers record spike
The northern state recorded its highest single-day spike of 1,156 new cases on Thursday, local officials confirmed. Across India cases are on the rise with the country as a whole registering 50,000 new cases over a 24-hour period Wednesday to Thursday, the first time a single daily tally has surpassed that number.
Maharashtra reports highest single-state daily spike
Maharashtra has today reported 11,147 new coronavirus cases - the first time an Indian state has registered more than 11,000 fresh infections in a single day. There were 266 new deaths in the western state.
Cleaning staff wearing personal protective equipment suits spray disinfectant near a poster of US/Canadian actor Dwayne Johnson at the High Street Phoenix shopping centre ahead of the reopening of malls in Mumbai. Malls are scheduled to reopen from 5 August as per reopening guidelines issued by the Maharashtra state government.
(Photo: INDRANIL MUKHERJEE / AFP)
"A tightrope walk between lives and livelihoods in India"
The BBC’s India business correspondent Nikhil Inamdar has told BBC World there is a "sense of dilemma" in the country as lockdown restrictions are eased further despite coronavirus case numbers continuing to rise.
On Wednesday, the Indian government announced measures such as the lifting of night curfews and the reopening of gyms from 1 August. 24 hours later, the nation's health ministry reported more than 50,000 new infections for the first time.
"There’s a sense of dilemma at this point in time, because we’ve seen sharp spikes in cases, [with] almost 50,000 people testing positive every day," Inamdar said, "and yet on the other hand the government cannot afford to keep the economy shut down, [given] the kind of devastating impact it’s having on business.
"We saw that play out yesterday in corporate earnings, when Maruti Suzuki and Indigo, the country's largest airline and largest vehicle maker, reported dismal numbers - Maruti in fact reporting its first consolidated quarterly loss in 17 years, saying sales were down almost 80%, and Indigo saying its revenue had plunged by 92% during the lockdown.
"So this gives you a sense of why the government really is keen to open up. It's now […] a tightrope walk between lives and livelihoods in India."
A healthcare worker wearing personal protective equipment takes a swab sample from a police officer during a rapid antigen test at a check-up centre in Kolkata on Wednesday.
(Photo: REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri)
Daily infections surpass 50,000 for first time in India
India on Thursday reported more than 50,000 daily coronavirus cases for the first time, driven by a surge in infections in rural areas at a time when the government is further easing curbs on movement and commerce.
There were 52,123 new cases in the previous 24 hours, according to federal health data, taking the total number of infections to almost 1.6 million.
Some 775 people died of coronavirus-related conditions over the same period, raising total deaths now just under 35,000 - low compared to the total number of cases, but showing little sign of slowing.
While major cities like New Delhi and Mumbai have seen their cases ease, infections in rural areas are continuing to rise sharply, alarming experts who fear weak healthcare systems there will be unable to cope.
India has the third highest number of infections globally, behind the United States and Brazil. It has nearly 20 times the number of cases as China, which has a similar-sized population and where the virus was first recorded late last year.
Separately, New Delhi announced the third phase of easing restrictions that had been aimed at preventing the spread of the virus. An evening curfew will be lifted from 1 August, and gyms will be allowed to open, but schools, cinemas, and bars will remain closed.
The restrictions, which included an almost total shutdown of the country for nearly three months, have hurt small businesses in what is still predominantly a low-income country.
Consumer demand is showing little sign of picking up ahead of India's festival season, where it usually rises significantly.
Global Covid-19 cases pass 17m mark
The world has seen more than 17 million coronavirus cases with the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus tracker posting 17,031,021 cases as of Thursday morning with India accounting for 1.5 million cases alone.
Recovery rate continues to improve in Delhi
Recovery rate in Delhi has increased to 88.99% in some positive news out of the capital...
PPE equipment provisions increased substantially, says report
A health department report has stated that the allotment of triple layer masks, PPE kits and N95 masks has been increased substantially to institutions treating COVID patients...
In pictures: A groom (C), a bride (R) and relatives wearing facemasks wait to perform rituals of their social marriage funtion, during a lockdown imposed by the state government against the surge in COVID-19 coronavirus cases, in Kolkata on July 29, 2020. (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP)
Record 52,000 new cases in India
India recored the highest daily surge in coronavirus cases on Wednesday with 52,898, taking the total caseload to 1,583,483. There were 771 more deaths recorded, pushing the total towards 35,000. On a positive note, 32,371 patients have recovered from the disease in the last 24 hours. July has accounted for 63% of cases since the pandemic began.
More than half of Mumbai slum residents have had coronavirus
In case you missed it: BBC reports that a survey has found that more than half the residents of cramped slums in Mumbai tested positive for antibodies to the coronavirus. In comparison, only 16% of people living outside slums in the same areas were found to be exposed to the infection, the BBC notes.
COVID-19 cases in Chhattisgarh reaches 8600
Chhattisgarh has reported 314 new coronavirus cases and four deaths on Wednesday, bringing the the total number of cases to 8,600,
The total number of COVID-19 cases include 2914 active cases, 5636 discharges and 50 deaths, according to the State Health Department, ANI reported.
West Bengal president Sumen Mitra passes away
We start the blog with the sad news that West Bengal president, Somen Mitra, has passed away. Mr. Mitra passed away at 1.30am on Thursday following cardiac arrest, hospital sources said.
“He was admitted to the hospital due to kidney and heart ailments,” a family member said, confirming the news of the Congress leader’s death. Mr. Mitra had tested negative for Covid-19.
Welcome to our live blog
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus in India. We launch our live blog this Thursday morning, 30 July, as India's case numbers near 1,532, 000.
We'll be bringing you the latest news and reaction from across the Indian states over the course of the day, as well as keeping you up to the date with latest figures.