India confirmed 6,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, the country’s biggest jump in 24 hours, as New Delhi eases a nationwide lockdown and airlines prepare to resume some domestic flights.
The country reported a total of over 118,000 confirmed cases on Friday, a roughly 5% increase from Thursday’s figures. Included in the total are 3,583 deaths.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended a lockdown, begun on March 25, to May 31, but relaxed rules in areas with lower numbers of cases and allowed state governments to issue their own guidelines on some matters.
India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi announces the extension of the country’s lockdown for 1.3 billion people until May 3.
In an address to the nation on radio and television on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the lockdown will be eased only in areas which do not show any deterioration in the spread of coronavirus.
He said India has paid a big economic price by imposing the lockdown, but it was much better placed than many other countries as it had acted quickly imposing travel and quarantine restrictions even before the first death was reported in the country. He said the lockdown and social distancing among people have worked in their favor.
The Health Ministry said on Monday that no new positive cases have been reported in 25 districts in 15 states for the past 14 days
An Indian policeman’s hand was chopped off with a sword and six other officers were severely injured in northern Punjab state while enforcing coronavirus lockdown measures.
The severed left hand of Harjit Singh, an assistant sub inspector for Punjab Police, was later reattached to his wrist following nearly eight hours of surgery.
A senior government official revealed that the attack took place when a vehicle carrying seven men, who belong to the minority Sikh warrior sect known as the Nihangs was stopped at a barricade outside a vegetable market in Patiala district.
When police asked the men for valid travel passes, one of them took out a sword and cut off Singh’s hand.
The injured officers, one with sword wounds to his back, were taken to the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh.
“I am happy to share that a 7 and a half hour long surgery has been successfully completed in PGI to repair the severed wrist of ASI Harjeet Singh. I thank the entire team of doctors and support staff for their painstaking effort. Wishing ASI Harjeet Singh a speedy recovery,” the state’s chief minister Amarinder Singh tweeted. “The police didn’t even take out their arms and you attack them and cut off the hand of an innocent person? This cannot be tolerated and strict action will be taken …Once more, I am telling all of Punjab, I am warning the people that strict action will be taken against those who don’t follow the curfew,” Singh said in a voice messages posted on Twitter.