India's coronavirus cases spike again to near half-million
The new cases took India's total to 490,401.
India neared half a million confirmed coronavirus cases Friday with its biggest 24-hour spike of 17,296 new infections, prompting a delay in resumption of regular train services of more than a month.
The new cases took India's total to 490,401. The Health Ministry also reported 407 more deaths in the previous 24 hours, taking its total fatalities to 15,301.
The ministry said the recovery rate was continuing to improve at 57.43%. Also, deaths per 100,000 stood at 1.86 against the world average of 6.24 per 100,000, it said.
The actual numbers of infections and deaths from Covid-19, like elsewhere in the world, are thought to be far higher due to a number of reasons including limited testing.
Indian Railways was due to resume regular train service on June 30 but said Thursday that it wouldn't fully resume until Aug. 12. Trains were halted when the government declared a nationwide lockdown in late March. Special trains linking main cities have been running since mid-May as part of an easing of the lockdown.
Domestic flights have resumed on selected routes, but a government decision on restarting international flights is expected next month.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to strictly observe social distancing and wear face masks, saying such precautions are the only option available until a vaccine is developed.
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