Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair an interaction with Chief Ministers of various states next week to discuss the coronavirus situation in India which has seen an alarming slide in recent days amid relaxations being rolled out following the two-month nationwide lockdown. The online meeting will be held on June 16 and 17.
The meeting will be the sixth one between the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers on the coronavirus crisis. The last meeting was held on May 12. While 21 states and union territories have been given time on June 16, the 15 worst-hit ones will meet on June 17.
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) June 12, 2020
India reported a record daily increase of novel coronavirus cases on Friday, topping almost 10,000 new ones logged every day this week. Declared infections are now at over 3 lakh – the fourth highest in the world. Officially there have been nearly 8,500 coronavirus deaths, although the true number is widely believed to far higher.
Anxious to revive the economy after a nearly 70-day lockdown, the government this week opened most public transport, offices and malls, even though health officials said the country was weeks away from flattening the curve of infections.
On Friday, the health ministry said the number of cases had increased by 10,956 from the previous day, with new infections rife in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, stretching hospitals to breaking point.
In New Delhi, the situation is particularly dire with the Aam Aadmi Party government this week predicting the caseload will balloon 20 fold to 5.5 lakh by the end of July, which the health care system appears woefully ill-prepared for.
Financial capital Mumbai is officially India’s worst affected city with almost 2,000 fatalities while Maharashtra crossed the 1 lakh-mark in cases and over 3,700 deaths.
Despite the surge in cases nationally, reports of patients dying after being denied care and crematoriums struggling to cope, the central government has declared the lockdown a success, saying that the spike would have been far higher without the restrictions.