On April 14, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced extension of the countrywide lockdown until May 3, hinting at phased lifting of curbs after April 20 conditional on a district-level review.

On the same day, India reported its highest daily increase of COVID-19 cases at 1,462--more than five times the number of isolation beds available at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi (270), latest health ministry data showed. Further, 210 patients have recovered today--the second most after 215 yesterday.

Since 8 a.m. on April 14, India has detected 452 new COVID-19 cases, taking its total to 10,815.

Of 154 recoveries reported since 8 a.m. on April 14, Rajasthan has reported the most (112), followed by Maharashtra (12) and Madhya Pradesh (7).

Kerala is the only state (among those with more than 100 COVID-19 cases) where the number of recovered patients (198) is greater than that of active cases (178).

With Meghalaya reporting its first case today, all northeastern states except Sikkim have reported COVID-19 cases.

Prime Minister Modi did not address the problems for migrant workers that the COVID-19 lockdown has caused. Migrant workers protested near Mumbai’s Bandra station demanding essential commodities, following the extension of the lockdown. As of April 13, Mumbai had 1,549 cases--66% of all cases in Maharashtra (2,337), and more than any other state.

The labour ministry has set up 20 control rooms under the chief labour commissioner to address COVID-19 issues. These will resolve wage-related issues of workers employed by the Centre and of migrant workers.

Until April 13, India had tested 231,902 samples for COVD-19. On April 13, it tested 21,635 samples of which 18,644 were in ICMR network labs and 2,991 in private labs, said Raman Gangakhedkar of ICMR.

To wrap up, here's our story from September 20, 2019, based on the annual report of the World Health Organization’s Global Preparedness Monitoring Board, which had presciently warned that with increased mobility, unprepared health facilities and the possibility of weaponising disease, a viral respiratory disease could travel through the world quickly.

It could turn into a pandemic capable of killing up to 80 million people and wiping out 5% of the world’s economy, the report had warned.

Ninety days since the first COVID-19 case outside China was reported, nearly 2 million people have been infected globally, while more than 120,000 have died and 465,000 recovered in 185 countries. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that emerging markets and developing economies will contract by 1%, and India’s GDP will grow at 1.9% in 2020.

Global growth will fall to -3% in 2020, the IMF projected, adding that “this makes the Great Lockdown the worst recession since the Great Depression, and far worse than the Global Financial Crisis”.

(Compiled by Shreehari Paliath)