India to restart some passenger trains despite big jump in virus cases, Latest World News - The New Paper

India to restart some passenger trains despite big jump in virus cases

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NEW DELHI : India recorded 4,214 more cases on Sunday, its biggest single-day jump in coronavirus infections.

This brings the total of cases in the country to to 67,152.

The number of people who have died from Covid-19 has reached 2,206, the Ministry of Health said yesterday.

A fifth of India's cases come from the densely populated cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Pune, all major centres of economic activity.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said three-quarters of Delhi's cases were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms and did not need hospital treatment.

"Overall, corona figures (are) rising in Delhi, but at the same time people are getting cured and going back home safe. Now we've to learn to live with corona," he said.

India's rising numbers of infections are also the result of increased testing, which has grown from 2,000 tests per day in late March to 85,000 to 90,000 a day now, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was due to hold a meeting with state chief ministers yesterday to determine a path out of the lockdown even as infections spread.

Despite the rising infections, India announced a limited reopening of its giant rail network beginning today after a nearly seven-week lockdown.

Mr Modi has faced increasing calls to end his government's stringent lockdown of the nation's 1.3 billion population, with political parties, businesses and citizens saying the containment measures have destroyed the livelihoods of millions that rely on daily wages for sustenance.

The shutdown, which has been repeatedly extended to stave off a surge in infections, is in force until Sunday.

Ahead of that, though, the Railway Ministry said it would gradually restart passenger services with 15 trains from today, connecting Delhi to Mumbai and other big cities.

The rail network, among the world's largest, carries more than 20 million people each day and is the lifeline for people living in far flung corners of the country.

India's rail, road, and air services were suspended in March. - REUTERS