New Delhi:

India's COVID-19 tally galloped past 60 lakh on Monday with 82,170 new cases, while the recoveries have surged to 50.17 lakh with 74,893 more people having recuperated, the Health Ministry said.

The death toll from the pathogen climbed to 95,542 with 1,039 more deaths. There are 9,62,640 active cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country, comprising 15.85 per cent of the total caseload, according to the ministry data.

The total coronavirus cases mounted to 60,74,702, while 50,16,520 people have recuperated from the virus, taking the recovery rate to 82.58 per cent. The case fatality rate declined to 1.57 per cent, it said.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, 7.20-crore samples have been tested so far, with 7.09-lakh tests being conducted on Sunday.

India added a million cases in just 11 days, according to a Reuters tally of government data, and it has the second-highest number of infections, behind the United States which crossed 7 million last week.

Festival season begins 

India’s festival season, which climaxes in October and November with the popular Hindu celebrations of Dussehra and Diwali, poses additional challenges, as officials try to dampen the usual large public celebrations and cross-country travel.

Typically the festival season brings a big increase in consumer spending, and the more sombre atmosphere this year will further dampen an economy that contracted by almost a quarter in the three months to June – the worst figure on record.

The government in the western state of Gujarat said it will not hold an event to mark the nine-day Navratri festival due to begin on Oct. 17.

“Navratri celebrations means business for garba (dance) classes, venues, decorators, food and water suppliers, orchestras, security agencies, sound system suppliers, dress and artificial jewellery sellers,” Samir Shah, director of Gujarat-based Archie Events told Reuters.

“The economic impact is huge for everyone involved.”

Major cities in the state like Ahmedabad, Surat, and Vadodara have dozens of large private events every year, that organisers say are almost certain to be cancelled.

In normal times, thousands of people would attend these gatherings every day during the festival, and Shah said that one major dance event would give temporary employment for at least 250 to 300 people.

Cinema halls to reopen in West Bengal from October 1

Cinema halls and open air theatres will be allowed to operate in West Bengal from October 1 with limited number of participants, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Saturday.

She also said musical, dance and magic shows would be permitted in the state from next month.

"To return to normalcy, Jatras, Plays, OATs, Cinemas & all musical, dance, recital & magic shows shall be allowed to function with 50 participants or less from 1 Oct, subject to adherence to physical distancing norms, wearing of masks & compliance to precautionary protocols," the chief minister said on Twitter.

Cinema halls have remained shut since the nationwide coronavirus lockdown began in late March.