NEW DELHI, India

With 9,851 new cases and 273 deaths in the last 24 hours until Friday morning, India saw its biggest surge in COVID-19 casualties.

The spike comes two days before the country is all set to ease its lockdown restrictions by opening religious places, restaurants, and shopping malls.

According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre, India now has 227,029 confirmed cases including 6,363 deaths.

In ia news conference last week, the Home Ministry announced an easing of lockdown from June 8, referring to it as ‘Unlock-1’.

However, the Health Ministry has issued protocols to stem the spread of the virus. These include prohibiting large gatherings and encouraging restaurants to offer takeaways.

Five Indian states with the biggest 24-hour jump in total cases on Friday were Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Bengal.

The western state of Maharashtra where the financial capital Mumbai is located continues to remain the worst-hit with 2,933 news cases. The state has confirmed 2,710 deaths since the start of the outbreak, the highest in India.

The total number of coronavirus cases in Delhi has crossed the 25,000-mark, with fatalities rising to 650.

India is now the 7th worst-affected COVID-19 country in the world, after the United States, Brazil, Russia, United Kingdom, Spain, and Italy.

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