India extends lockdown as coronavirus cases increase rapidly

By Sanjay Jha, ITV News, Delhi

With the total number of coronavirus patients in India increasing rapidly, the Indian government has further extended a countrywide lockdown for another two weeks until May 17.

A statement issued on Friday by India’s Interior Ministry said it would allow “considerable relaxations” in lower-risk districts marked as green and orange zones under the Government’s plan to fight coronavirus.

India recorded 1,755 Covid-19 cases and 77 deaths in 24 hours, the highest one-day jump since the pandemic began.

The total tally of confirmed cases by 5pm on May 1 reached 35,365, according to latest update by India’s Health Ministry. These include 25,148 active cases, 9,064 cured/discharged patients, one migrated patient and 1,152 deaths.

Western Indian state of Maharashtra accounted for nearly half of Thursday's national Covid-19 count. As many as 583 people tested positive for coronavirus in the state, increasing their overall tally to 10,498.

Meanwhile, authorities across the country have started preparations to help millions of stranded migrant workers and students reach their homes from different parts of the country where they have been stranded for over a month due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

A medical worker in protective clothing in Srinagar. Credit: PA

The Indian government has even allowed special trains to transport those stranded by from home.

Like other countries data from India’s Health Ministry says 60 per cent of Covid-19 deaths have been of people aged 60 or above

The coronavirus crisis has sounded the death knell for survivors of the world’s worst industrial disaster, which took place in the city of Bhopal in 1984.

The Bhopal gas tragedy killed thousands and left thousands more with long-term health concerns.

The survivors of the disaster are now becoming the victims of the virus - so far 10 are have died of coronavirus.

The gas survivor community, which consists of as many as 550,000 people, is now living in fear of the virus and its consequences on their weakened bodies.

Meanwhile, The UK has announced seven further charter flights to bring over 2,000 stranded British travellers home from India. Once these flights are completed, over 15,000 British travellers will have been brought back from India on 59 flights chartered by the Government.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know