Autorickshaw drivers wearing masks as a precaution against the coronavirus chat as they wait for customers in Kochi, Kerala state, India, Thursday, June 25, 2020. India is the fourth hardest-hit country by the COVID-19 pandemic in the world after the U.S., Russia and Brazil. (AP Photo/R S Iyer)
NEW DELHI, June 26: India neared half a million coronavirus cases Friday with its biggest 24-hour spike of 17,296 new infections causing a delay in resumption of regular train services by more than a month.
The new cases took India’s total to 490,401. The Health Ministry also reported another 407 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities up to 15,301.
The ministry said the recovery rate was continuing to improve at 57.43%. Also, deaths per 100,000 stood at 1.86 against the world average of 6.24 per 100,000, it said.
The actual numbers of infections and deaths from COVID-19, like elsewhere in the world, are thought to be far higher due to a number of reasons including limited testing.
Indian Railways was due to resume regular train services on June 30 but said Thursday that services wouldn’t fully resume until Aug. 12. Trains had been halted when the government declared a nationwide lockdown in late March. Special trains linking main cities have been running since mid-May as part of easing of the lockdown.
Domestic flights have resumed on selected routes, but a government decision on restarting international flights is expected next month.