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This is the second day in a row that India has witnessed a daily rise of more than 7,000 Covid-19 cases. The number of people who have recovered from Covid-19 also went up as 82,369 patients were discharged from hospitals across the country, according to the health ministry’s data. With this India’s recovery rate has jumped to 47.40%, up from 42.88% on Friday, as the fourth phase of the lockdown to curb the spread of the deadly infection is scheduled to end on Sunday.

Maharashtra has reported 62,228 Covid-19 cases, including 2098 deaths, so far. In Tamil Nadu, there have been 20,246 infections, including 154 deaths, and Delhi with 17,386 Covid-19 cases is the third worst-affected region in the country.

The national capital has seen 398 people dying of the respiratory disease. Gujarat has fewer number of Covid-19 cases at 15,934 but with 980 fatalities the state’s death toll is nearly double of Tamil Nadu and Delhi.

The central government has identified 145 new districts, mostly rural, that have reported Covid-19 cases over the past three weeks and warned that they could emerge as “epicentres” of the disease if effective containment measures are not undertaken. Cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba, in a presentation to state representatives, on Thursday highlighted that eastern India was likely to be the next big Covid-19 hotspot with the return of migrant workers from the worst-hit states. The cabinet secretary said 12 states, including Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha in eastern India which had not reported many cases earlier, have witnessed rapid infection spread in the three weeks until May 25. Other states such as Tripura and Manipur, too, have reported an increase in Covid-19 cases after having infections in single digits earlier.

The Union health ministry has said the bigger states such as Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh remained the main contributors to the surge but states such as Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha saw a sharp increase in cases primarily because of the return of migrant workers from Covid-19 hotspots.

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