Covid-19 scenario worsens in India, Mumbai overtakes Wuhan

Covid-19 cases in India were poised to cross 2.75 lakh, with the actual numbers remaining unclear as the Delhi government had not released the day’s data for the capital till past midnight.

As many countries gingerly start lifting their lockdown measures, experts worry that a further surge of the coronavirus in under-developed regions with shaky health systems could undermine efforts to halt the pandemic, and they say more realistic options are needed.

Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, India and Pakistan are among countries easing tight restrictions, not only before their outbreaks have peaked but also before any detailed surveillance and testing system is in place to keep the virus under control. That could ultimately have devastating consequences, health experts warn.

Today is the seventy-eighth day of India’s nationwide lockdown, meant to curb the novel coronavirus pandemic. A number of activities are being allowed to resume in a phased manner over this month as part of ‘Unlock 1.0’.

Malls, restaurants and places of worship were allowed to reopen in some states on Monday. Confirmed COVID-19 cases in India stand at 2,66,598. The death toll from the outbreak in India is at 7,471. Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Gujarat have reported the highest number of cases.

With metros seeing an increasing number of Covid-19 patients availing treatment in private facilities, insurers and hospitals are wrangling over bills which range between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 8.5 lakh.

Insurers say they do not make a judgment call on whether the patient requires hospitalisation, which increases prospects for “soft fraud” through unjustified charges. There have been over 10,000 private healthcare claims. The average bill of a Covid-19 package in India is Rs 1.56 lakh so far, as per IRDAI data.