India is getting no respite from the coronavirus caseload with another record single-day jump of more than 6500 cases at a time when the two-month-old lockdown across the country is set to end on Sunday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is preparing a new set of guidelines to be issued this weekend, possibly extending the lockdown in worst-hit areas as it promotes economic activity.
The Health Ministry reported a total of 158,333 cases on Thursday, a jump of 6566 in 24 hours, with 4531 deaths, an increase of 194. It said the recovery rate had also risen to more than 42 per cent.
Mumbai, India's financial and entertainment capital, is the worst-hit city with more than 33,000 cases and almost 1200 deaths. Most of the cases are concentrated in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu New Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan states.
An increase in cases has also been reported in some of India's poorest eastern states as migrant workers, stranded returning to native villages from India's largest cities, have begun arriving home on special trains.
India started easing lockdown restrictions earlier this month, allowing the reopening of shops and manufacturing and resumption of some trains and domestic flights, and vehicle movements.
Metro services, schools and colleges, hotels and restaurants are shuttered nationwide.
Australian Associated Press