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Over 74,000 cases in India as lockdown set to ease

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NEW DELHI (Xinhua) – India has become the 12th most-affected country on Wednesday due to the pandemic after recording a total of 74,281 COVID-19 cases and 2,415 deaths.

With these figures, India has crossed Canada’s tally, which has 71,157 cases of COVID-19, according to World Health Organization (WHO) list. According to top health research body Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 1,854,250 samples have been tested until Wednesday morning.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a package worth $267 billion during a televised address to tackle the impact of COVID-19 outbreak and weeks of lockdown on the economy.

The new package is equivalent to 10 percent of India’s GDP. Modi also said the country will enter into the fourth phase of lockdown to fight the COVID-19 pandemic with effect from May 18.

The ongoing third phase of lockdown is slated to end on May 17. India reopened partial rail network on Tuesday as the country looked at easing its nearly seven-week strict lockdown amid an increase in coronavirus infections. The lockdown began on March 25

Meanwhile South Korea reported 29 more cases of the COVID-19 compared to 24 hours ago as of 0:00 a.m. Thursday local time, raising the total number of infections to 10,991.

The daily caseload hovered around 30 for five straight days as a cluster infection was found from clubs and bars at the multicultural neighborhood of Itaewon in Seoul.

Of the new cases, three were imported from overseas, lifting the combined figure to 1,145.

One more death was confirmed, bringing the death toll at 260. The total fatality rate stood at 2.37 percent.

A total of 67 more patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recovery, pulling up the combined number to 9,762. The total recovery rate was 88.8 percent.

Since January 3, the country has tested more than 711,000 people, among whom 679,771 tested negative for the virus and 20,722 are being checked.

In China, the health authority said Thursday that it received reports of three new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland Wednesday.

The three cases were domestically transmitted, with two in Liaoning Province and one in Jilin Province, the National Health Commission said in its daily report.

No new suspected cases or deaths were reported Wednesday on the mainland, according to the commission.

On Wednesday, six people were discharged from hospitals after recovery, while the number of severe cases decreased by one to nine.

As of Wednesday, the overall confirmed cases on the mainland had reached 82,929, including 101 patients who were still being treated, and 78,195 people who had been discharged after recovery.

Altogether 4,633 people had died of the disease, the commission said.

By Wednesday, the mainland had reported a total of 1,692 imported cases. Of the cases, 1,632 had been discharged from hospitals after recovery, and 60 remained hospitalized with three in severe conditions. No deaths from the imported cases had been reported.

The commission said four people, including three from abroad, were still suspected of being infected with the virus.

According to the commission, 5,291 close contacts were still under medical observation after 387 people were discharged from medical observation Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, 12 new asymptomatic cases including one from abroad were reported on the mainland. One case was re-categorized as a confirmed case, and 49 asymptomatic cases, including two from overseas, were discharged from medical observation.

The commission said 712 asymptomatic cases, including 36 from overseas, were still under medical observation.

By Wednesday, 1,050 confirmed cases including four deaths had been reported in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), 45 confirmed cases in the Macao SAR, and 440 in Taiwan including seven deaths.

A total of 1,008 patients in Hong Kong, 43 in Macao, and 375 in Taiwan had been discharged from hospitals after recovery.

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