New Delhi: The nationwide tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases crossed the 50,000-mark on Wednesday with a large number of healthcare professionals and security personnel testing positive amid the worsening spread of the deadly virus, while authorities also flagged high fatality rate in states like West Bengal, Gujarat and Maharashtra.While some positive news came from Kerala with no new infection getting detected there despite the state being among the first ones to witness the spread, Maharashtra reported a record daily increase of more than 1,200 in its number of cases. The economic cost of the pandemic also began to hit the people with a sharp increase in fuel prices.
Looking to shore up their dwindling resources, more states announced higher taxes on liquor sales, while Punjab pegged its overall revenue loss for the month of April at 88 per cent due to all its tax revenues having dried up and only 1.5 per cent the industry being operational.
Industry sources in various parts of the country said they were wary of opening their plants and offices due to concerns over movement of their staff, suppliers, transporters and vendors till the nationwide lockdown, which has been in force since March 25, gets completely lifted.
While announcing the third phase of the lockdown till May 17, the government had given several relaxations for getting industrial and agricultural activities restarted, but not much have changed on the ground with only a few companies, especially in the manufacturing sector, resuming their operations in a limited way.