Coronavirus: India records a surge in COVID-19 as curfew lifted

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India added another record surge in virus cases Friday as the government decided to lift a nighttime curfew that was in force since March.

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The 55,079 new cases in the past 24 hours took India’s total to 1,638,871. The Health Ministry on Friday also reported 779 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking fatalities to 35,747.

The actual numbers, like elsewhere in the world, are thought to be far higher due to a number of reasons including limited testing.

The nighttime curfew will be lifted from Saturday and yoga institutes and gyms can reopen Wednesday, according to the Home Ministry. The government also removed interstate restrictions on movement of people or goods.

The government also decided to reopen hotels in the Indian capital, which had been used as quarantine facilities. After peaking at nearly 3,500 new cases a day earlier this month, New Delhi’s numbers have dropped to around 1,000 cases a day.

After the nationwide lockdown was largely lifted, lockdowns now remain only in areas that are hot spots of infection and are decided by state and territory governments.

Metro services, cinemas, swimming pools, entertainment parks, bars, theaters, auditoriums and other social gathering places will remain closed until Aug. 31, the Home Ministry said.

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