India's COVID-19 tally crossed 1.5 lakh on Wednesday with more than 6,000 new cases getting detected across states, but the government said the recovery rate has improved further to over 42 per cent now. The death toll also rose to at least 4,337.
While more than 64,000 people have been cured or discharged so far, over 83,000 are undergoing treatment, according to the Union Health Ministry figures.
In its morning update, the ministry said the total number of cases has increased to 1,51,767 and the death toll to 4,337, registering an increase of 6,387 cases and 170 deaths in 24 hours since Tuesday 8 AM.
"Around 42.45 per cent patients have recovered so far," a senior health ministry official said.
The national capital saw its tally of confirmed cases rising to 15,257 with 792 fresh cases getting detected -- its highest single-day spike. The death toll in Delhi has also risen to 303.
Tamil Nadu also recorded its biggest single-day spike with 817 new cases, including those having returned from other states, taking its total count to 18,545. It also reported six more deaths, taking its death toll to 133.
New cases were reported from various other states and union territories as well, including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Tripura, Assam, Odisha, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.
The COVID-19 tally in Kerala crossed the 1,000-mark after 40 people, including 37 returnees from abroad and other states, tested positive. While Kerala was the first state in India to report a COVID-19 case on January 30, it had almost flattened the curve of the virus spread till arrival of people from outside began earlier this month.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said 445 people are undergoing treatment in various hospitals at present, while more than 1.7 lakh are under observation. A total of 552 people have been cured, while there have been six fatalities so far in the state.
Tripura also reported 23 new cases and officials said the majority of the recent cases have been detected among people returning from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and other states.
Odisha reported 76 new cases, of which 74 people had returned from other states and were staying in different quarantine centres.
In West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the state considers ferrying of a large number of migrant workers by trains as a big problem for public health, as she sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention in the matter.
Those returning from the coronavirus hotspot states of Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu will have to go for a 14-day institutional quarantine, Banerjee said.
The state government also announced that all schools will remain closed till June 30. Earlier, they were scheduled to remain closed till June 30.
In Mizoram, Chief Minister Zoramthanga said his government is contemplating extending the coronavirus-induced lockdown beyond May 31 in view of the influx of migrants from outside the state.
The Himachal Pradesh government has already authorised all district magistrates to extend the coronavirus lockdown beyond May 31 and three DMs have issued orders indicating that the curfew will continue in their areas for another month.
A nationwide lockdown has been in place since March 25 and the ongoing fourth phase of the lockdown is scheduled to remain in place till May 31.
While several relaxations have been given in the fourth phase for allowing various economic activities, educational institutions are among those that have not been allowed to open as yet.
Domestic flights also began operating this week in a phased manner, while special migrant trains have been running since May 1 and special international flights were started on May 7 to bring back stranded Indians and expatriates from abroad.
Air India on Wednesday said a passenger, who had travelled on an Alliance Air flight from Delhi to Ludhiana on May 25, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, following which 41 people, including five crew members, have been quarantined.
On Tuesday, IndiGo had also said that a passenger who travelled on a Chennai-Coimbatore flight on May 25, tested positive for COVID-19.
In Assam also, one person tested positive after returning to the state's capital Guwahati in a flight from Ahmedabad by plane.
Officials in hill state Uttarakhand said the doubling rate of coronavirus cases has worsened and the number of infections has jumped nearly five times in this period due to the influx of people from outside.
In Rajasthan, Health Minister Raghu Sharma expressed hope that the number of coronavirus infections in the state would start to decline from the next month. He said the infections have now spread to 32 districts of the state, of which 12 were earlier declared as green zones.
He said the government has arranged facilities for institutional quarantine of those people who are coming from outside the state. Rajasthan recorded two COVID-19 deaths and 109 new cases of the virus, taking its tally of confirmed cases to 7,645 and fatalities to 172.
Gujarat reported 376 new cases and 23 more deaths taking its tally of confirmed cases to 15,205 and fatalities to 938.
India figures among the ten worst-hit countries in terms of spread of the deadly virus. Globally, more than 56 lakh have tested positive so far, while over 3.5 lakh have lost their lives. More than 23 lakh have recovered too.