New Delhi: 

The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 775 and the number of cases climbed to 24,506 in the country on Saturday, according to the Union Health Ministry.


The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 18,668 while 5,062 people were cured and discharged, and one patient has migrated, the ministry said


The total number of cases include 77 foreign nationals.


Govt allows opening of neighbourhood and standalone shop excludinf Malls

Meanwhile,in a reprieve to public at large, the government on Friday night allowed opening of neighbourhood and standalone shops, including those located in residential complexes within municipal areas, but at a 50 per cent strength and after taking necessary precautions.


However, the order signed by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, made it clear that shops in marketplaces, multi-brand and single-brand malls located in municipality areas shall continue to remain closed till May 3.

Amending its April 15 order, the Union Home Ministry said "all shops, including neighbourhood shops and standalone shops, shops in residential complexes, within the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities, registered under the the Shops and Establishment Act of the respective State and UT" will be allowed to open during the lockdown.


Lockdown restrictions in the metropolitan areas of Mumbai and Pune might be extended beyond May 3 till June 

With cases continuing to spike, the lockdown restrictions in the metropolitan areas of Mumbai and Pune might be extended beyond May 3 till June, reported The Economic Times citing government officials. The officials said that with the rise in the number of cases, parts of the state will continue under lockdown for an extended period after May 3. 


“As of now, there is no question of lifting the lockdown in Mumbai and Pune MMR region. In fact, with the rising numbers, there may be a need to tighten restrictions,” the report quoted a state government official as saying. A lockdown extension would mean that restrictions on local trains, buses, shops and establishments may continue to remain till at least June.


Maharashtra has been the worst affected state in India. On Saturday, 387 new coronavirus cases were reported from Maharashtra, according to data released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. This brings the total reported cases of coronavirus in Maharashtra to 6,817. Among the total people infected as on date, 840 have recovered and 301 have passed away. Pune alone has recorded 68 deaths. Mumbai, which has registered 4,447 cases so far, has seen 178 casualties. 


The decision to extend the lockdown in Mumbai and Pune would come as a jolt to the government and private sector keen to start the businesses running in India's financial capital. At the same time, in a breather, the daily tally of Mumbai and Maharashtra witnessed a surprising but welcome drop of 50 per cent on Friday, a day after registering the highest single-daily tally. The state recorded 394 cases, against 778 on Thursday. Mumbai reported 242 cases on Friday, 53 per cent fewer than 522 on Thursday.


A total of 52 deaths were reported since Friday evening — 18 from Maharashtra, 15 from Gujarat, nine from Madhya Pradesh, three each from Delhi and West Bengal, two from Tamil Nadu, and one each from Punjab and Uttar Pradesh


Of the 775 deaths, Maharashtra tops the tally with 301 fatalities, followed by Gujarat at 127, Madhya Pradesh at 92, Delhi at 53, Andhra Pradesh at 29, Rajasthan at 27 and Telangana at 26


The death toll reached 25 in Uttar Pradesh, 22 in Tamil Nadu while Karnataka and West Bengal have reported 18 deaths each


Punjab has registered 17 fatalities so far. The disease has claimed five lives in Jammu and Kashmir, while Kerala, Jharkhand and Haryana have recorded three COVID-19 deaths each


Bihar has reported two deaths, while Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and Assam have reported one fatality each, according to the ministry data


However, a PTI tally of the figures reported by various states as on Friday evening showed 778 deaths in the country


There has been a lag in the Union Health Ministry figures, compared to the number of deaths announced by different states, which officials attribute to procedural delays in assigning the cases to individual states


According to the Health Ministry data updated in the morning, the highest number of confirmed cases in the country are from Maharashtra at 6,817, followed by Gujarat at 2,815, Delhi at 2,514, Rajasthan at 2,034, Madhya Pradesh at 1,852 and Tamil Nadu at 1,755


The number of COVID-19 cases has gone up to 1,621 in Uttar Pradesh, 984 in Telangana and 955 in Andhra Pradesh.


The number of cases has risen to 571 in West Bengal,?474 in Karnataka, 454 in Jammu and Kashmir, 450 in Kerala,?, 298 in Punjab and 272 in Haryana.Bihar has reported 223 coronavirus cases, while Odisha has 94 cases. Fifty-seven people have been infected with the virus in Jharkhand and 48 in Uttarakhand.Himachal Pradesh has 40 cases, Chhattisgarh and Assam have registered 36 infections each so far.Chandigarh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands have 27 COVID-19 cases, while 20?infections have been reported from Ladakh.Meghalaya has reported 12 cases, and Goa and Puducherry have seven COVID-19 cases each.Manipur and Tripura have two cases each, while Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh have reported a case each.