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COVID-19: India records 7,466 cases in 24 hours

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India on Friday reported a jump of 7,466 cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, its biggest one-day surge so far, as the country relaxes its lockdown measures.

The total number of infections rose to 165,799, the Health Ministry said in its daily morning update.

This was the first time that more than 7,000 more cases were detected in a 24-hour period, that followed seven consecutive days of more than 6,000 cases per day.

There were 175 deaths linked with COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of deaths due to the disease to 4,706, surpassing the toll in neighbouring China, where the deadly virus emerged last year.

Inspite of the rapidly increasing infections, India has progressively relaxed restrictions including opening up air travel.

While there are concerns over rising cases, there is enormous economic pressure in the country with millions of people rendered unemployed due to the pandemic.

Broadcaster NDTV reported that Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting on Friday on the strategy ahead for the lockdown that ends Sunday and weighing how to restart economic activity amid the increase in virus cases.

An exodus of migrants is under way from urban centres to their home districts, raising fears that the infections would spread in rural areas where the health infrastructure is particularly poor.

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