India reported another 132,364 coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, a declining trend with recoveries exceeding new cases this week, and prompting several state governments to ease some of the restrictions.
The latest update from the Health Ministry on Friday raised the nation’s total to more than 28.6 million, the second-highest in the world after the United States.
The ministry said 2,713 more people died in the past 24 hours, driving the overall toll to 340,702.
The ministry also said India’s recovery rate has neared 93.80 percent after 207,071 people recovered on Thursday, exceeding the number of newly infected.
Cases have also sharply dropped in New Delhi. On Friday, it recorded 487 new infections, the lowest in more than two months. There are less than 9.000 active cases in the capital now.
The decline in daily confirmed infections has prompted state governments, like New Delhi and Maharashtra, to announce measures to exit lockdowns.
The western state of Maharashtra, home to financial hub Mumbai, is planning to lift most restrictions across half of its districts this month, officials said. New Delhi has already reopened manufacturing and construction activity.
Much of the country is still under some form of a shutdown, with many industries and businesses unable to resume work. Schools and most businesses remain closed.
Pressure is mounting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to speed up vaccinations. India has administered just over 220 million jabs so far and less than 5 percent of the country has been fully vaccinated.