India on Sunday reported the biggest one-day jump in coronavirus cases as the country of 1.3 billion enters the 40th day of a nationwide lockdown.
The confirmed infections have neared the 40,000-mark and the death toll has reached 1,301, including 83 deaths in the last 24 hours, which also saw 2,600 new cases.
The six-week lockdown, which was supposed to end last Monday, has been extended another two weeks, with a few relaxations. The lockdown has slowed the spread of the virus, but has come at the enormous economic cost.
With fighter jets and army bands, military thank health workers
The Indian Air Force on Sunday conducted fly-pasts and showered flower petals on hospitals across a dozen cities, including New Delhi, as part of efforts to thank medical and police personnel for being at the forefront of the battle against the pandemic.
In the southern city of Bengaluru, a helicopter showered flowers over Victoria Hospital, as doctors and other medical workers in hospital gowns and masks cheered on, local television showed. A military band played alongside.
In the financial capital of Mumbai, television showed fighter jets roaring over the famous Marine Drive, which runs parallel to the Arabian Sea, as some residents craned for a view from their balconies.
Later on Sunday, navy and coast guard ships will line up along more than 30 locations on the Indian coast, with some vessels lit up and firing flares.
Coronavirus lockdown reveals fresh air, clean rivers in India
But the celebrations were dampened by news of the death of four Indian army personnel, including two officers, as well as a police official during a gun battle with militants in the northern Kashmir region on Saturday.
The five were killed while freeing hostages in Kashmir’s Kupwara district, an Indian Army spokesman said. Two militants were also shot dead, he added.