India, May 29 -- Maharashtra has inched closer to the 60,000-mark for Covid-19 cases as 2,598 new infections took the state's tally to 59,546, with health officials saying the easing of the lockdown played a key role in the increase.

State health minister Rajesh Tope said the movement of people from "red zone" areas to other districts led to an increase in Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra. The numbers are expected to surge over the next few days, he said, but expressed confidence in the machinery and measures adopted to keep the spread under control.

"It is expected the cases would increase, primarily due to the movement of people. How long can we keep things under lockdown? With people from Mumbai going to other districts, the number of cas...