India’s coronavirus case tally increased by 86,821 in the last 24 hours to 6.31 million by Thursday morning, data from the Health Ministry showed, as the country eased more restrictions to combat the economic hit from the pandemic.
Deaths from coronavirus infections rose by 1,181 to 98,678, the Ministry said.
The South Asian nation on Wednesday permitted states to open schools and movie theaters. The country’s richest state Maharashtra, home to financial hub Mumbai, said it would also allow bars and restaurants to operate fully.
India reported its worst economic contraction in decades for the quarter to June as the COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to close and the country to impose one of the strictest lockdowns to prevent the virus from spreading.
Meanwhile, widespread reopening of schools after lockdowns and vacations is generally not linked to rising COVID-19 rates, a study of 191 countries has found, but lockdown closures will leave a 2020 “pandemic learning debt” of 300 billion missed school days.
The analysis, by the Geneva-based independent educational foundation Insights for Education, said 84% of those 300 billion days would be lost by children in poorer countries, and warned that 711 million pupils were still out of school.
“It’s been assumed that opening schools will drive infections, and that closing schools will reduce transmission, but the reality is much more complex,” said IfE’s founder and chief executive Randa Grob-Zakhary.
The vast majority – 92% – of countries that are through their first wave of COVID-19 infections have started to reopen school systems, even as some are seeing a second surge.