New Delhi: The nationwide tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases was seen approaching 40,000 on Saturday with a record number of new cases getting detected in the last 24 hours, but recoveries from the deadly virus infection also crossed 10,000 while efforts to revive economic activities appeared getting stepped up too. Also Read - Coronavirus: Cases in Pakistan Rise Above 69,470; Death Toll Nears 1,500-mark

1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed ways to reform the agriculture sector and give a boost to marketing of the farm produce during his meetings with top ministers and government officials. Sources said discussions were also held for firming up plans for the second stimulus package for sectors impacted by the nationwide lockdown, which began on March 25 and has been extended till May 17 with some relaxations in the third phase beginning Monday. Another meeting was held to discuss ways to strengthen the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) amid demands for a relief package for this sector. Also Read - Bangladesh Reopens Offices, Transport Services Amid Spike in Coronavirus Cases

2. The Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das also held meetings with top bankers to review the economic situation and implementation of various measures announced by it to reduce stress in the financial system. Also Read - Amid Sharp GDP Data Revision, Debate Continues Over Its Fairness

3. Authorities across states also readied plans for various relaxations scheduled to come into effect from Monday, including the opening of more categories of shops and business establishments in areas with limited or zero infection. However, air travel, trains and interstate road transport will remain shut for the general public.

4. The armed forces have made elaborate arrangements to conduct aerial fly-pasts, light up ships at sea and shower flower petals on several hospitals across the country on Sunday to express gratitude to lakhs of doctors, paramedics, sanitation staff and other front-line workers engaged in fighting the pandemic.

5. Special trains and buses continued to ply to take lakhs of migrant workers and students to their native places.

These workers have been stranded for over a month in different parts of the country, many of them having been rendered jobless and homeless, due to virtually all economic activities coming to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown, which was first imposed for 21 days, then got extended for a 14-day second phase and now for another two-week-long third phase.

6. The 5 PM update also showed the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rising to 37,776, after a record jump of 2,411 cases in the last 24 hours. However, a total of 10,017 people have recovered, resulting in a recovery rate of 26.52 per cent. Nearly 10 lakh tests are said to have been conducted so far across India.

7. Maharashtra alone reported 790 new cases, including 547 in Mumbai, taking the state’s overall tally to 12,296, while its death toll also rose by 36 to 521.

8. In Gujarat also, 333 more tested positive, including 250 in Ahmedabad, to take the state’s tally to 5,054. The state also reported 26 more deaths, including 20 in Ahmedabad alone, taking the overall toll to 262.

9. Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu also reported a rising number of cases and deaths, among other states.

10. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is planning to study whether the novel coronavirus strain in India has undergone mutation while spreading within the country over the last two months.

(With PTI Inputs)