People wearing face masks to protect from the new coronavirus as they wait for bus transport in Kochi, Kerala state, India, Monday, June 1, 2020. More states opened up and crowds of commuters trickled on the roads in many cities as India's three-phase plan to lift the virus lockdown kick started Monday amidst an upward trend in new infections and fatalities due to COVID-19. (AP Photo/ R S Iyer)
NEW DELHI, June 1: India has registered 230 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing its total to 5,394 as the country begins its three-stage reopening on Monday.
The lockdown is being eased in most places except for the containment zones now isolated due to coronavirus outbreaks.
The Health Ministry said India had 190,535 cases, which is the 7th most worldwide, exceeding Germany and France. More than 60% of India’s COVID-19 fatalities have occurred in just two states — Maharashtra, the financial hub and entertainment hub of India, and Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Experts say that although India’s cases are increasing rapidly, it is nowhere close to the peak of the outbreak. But the government is still easing the lockdown to ease some of the economic pain and hardship.
The railways will run 200 more special passenger trains from Monday and some states have opened their borders to vehicular traffic.
Maharashtra has allowed shops and offices to open outside containment zones and given a nod to the resumption of film shootings with some restrictions in place.
There are concerns that the virus may be spreading through India’s villages as millions of jobless migrant workers return home from cities during the lockdown.