The COVID-19 cases in India crossed one lakh on Monday with a higher number of people testing positive of the deadly virus in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and other states. The cases rose even as several states announced an easing of lockdown guidelines after the Centre extended till May 31. Over 3,000 deaths reported in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.
After extending the lockdown for the fourth phase with more relaxations, several states have ordered reopening of markets, local transport with 50% passengers, and even salons in some parts of the country. However, schools, colleges, theatres, and malls are among those that would remain closed.
The government has put the ball in the court of states, allowing them to colour-code the zones according to the incidence of coronavirus, thereby taking a final decision on what activities are allowed in any particular area.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said India has taken all necessary steps well in time to fight the pandemic.
India undertook the COVID-19 challenge with the highest level of political commitment, he added. Therapeutics, diagnostics, and vaccines for the whole world is the only way out of this pandemic, the Health Minister said.
His address came after India on Monday joined 120 countries at the World Health Organisation (WHO) in pushing for an impartial and comprehensive evaluation of the global response into the coronavirus crisis as well as to examine the origin of the deadly infection.