India's increasing coronavirus caseload made it the world's second-worst-hit country behind the United States on Monday, as its efforts to head off economic disaster from the pandemic gain urgency. The 90,802 cases added in the past 24 hours pushed India’s total past Brazil with more than 4.2 million cases; the United States has more than 6.2 million people infected, according to Johns Hopkins University. India’s Health Ministry on Monday also reported 1,016 new deaths for a total of 71,642, the third-highest national toll, reports the AP. The world's second-most populous country with 1.4 billion people, India has been recording the world’s largest daily coronavirus increases for almost a month. Despite over 2 million new cases in the past month and the virus spreading through smaller towns and villages, the government has continued relaxing restrictions to resuscitate the economy.
On Monday, the Delhi Metro resumed operations after remaining shuttered for more than five months. The commuters were scarce and stations deserted. Only asymptomatic people were allowed to board trains, with masks, social distancing, and temperature checks mandatory. New Delhi’s streets have already returned to their normal bustle, and people are again flocking to markets. The city's bars will reopen Wednesday. Initially hit hard by the virus, New Delhi had seemed to turn the tide through its aggressive screening. But after reopening steadily, the state has reported a recent surge in cases and fatalities. The reopening of the metro is expected to further worsen the situation. The reopenings come after India's economy shrank faster than any other major nation’s, nearly 24% in the last quarter. “While lives are important, livelihoods are equally important,” says Rajesh Bhushan, the top official of India’s federal health ministry.
(Read more coronavirus