Cases 1.22 L, deaths 3634

TNN Bureau. Updated: 5/23/2020 12:37:56 PM Front Page

NEW DELHI: The nationwide tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases rose by a single-day record of over 6,000 on Friday to cross 1.22 lakh, even as the government asserted the count could have been as high as 30 lakh but for the "rich dividends" of the nationwide lockdown. The RBI, however, said the impact of the pandemic on Indian economy has been much more severe than what was expected.

In its morning 8 AM update, the Union Health Ministry put the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at 1,18,447 across India with an increase of 6,088 in 24 hours since Thursday 8 AM, while the death toll rose by 148 to 3,583. It also showed 48,534 recoveries so far.

However, a tally of figures announced by different states and union territories, as of 9.20 PM, put the nationwide tally much higher at 1,22,656, the death toll at 3,634 and recoveries at more than 51,000.

Globally, nearly 52 lakh people have tested positive for the deadly virus ever since its emergence in China last December, while 3.3 lakh have lost their lives. Reeling off various studies, government officials also said up to 2.1 lakh more people could have died in India if the lockdown had not been implemented as "a timely, graded, proactive and preemptive public health measure" to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

While several steps have already been initiated to restart business activities and domestic flights would also resume in a phased manner from Monday, the Reserve Bank said on Friday that the macroeconomic impact of the pandemic is turning out to be more severe than initially anticipated, and various sectors of the economy are experiencing acute stress.

The central bank also said that beyond the destruction of economic and financial activity, livelihood and health are severely affected.

A number of experts and economists have warned of deep economic recession due to the continued extension of the lockdown, which was first imposed for only 21 days, but has already been extended thrice.

The lockdown has also led to many migrant workers being rendered jobless and homeless and leaving many of them wanting to go back to their native places.

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