India looks at easing Lockdown but are we safe?

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday the country would look to ease a nearly seven-week lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus, despite also reporting its biggest single-day jump in cases.


Modi has faced increasing calls to end his government’s stringent lockdown of the nation’s 1.3 billion population, with political parties, businesses and citizens saying the containment measures have destroyed the livelihoods of millions that rely on daily wages for sustenance. 

On Monday, Modi told the heads of states in a video call the government would look at a “gradual withdrawal” of the lockdown, which has been repeatedly extended until May 17. 

“We have a twofold challenge – to reduce the transmission rate of the disease, and to increase public activity gradually,” Modi said. 

“Even as we look at the gradual withdrawal of the lockdown, we should constantly remember that till we do not find a vaccine or a solution, the biggest weapon with us to the fight the virus is social distancing.” 

Separately, India’s railway ministry opened bookings for passenger services with 15 trains a day from Tuesday connecting Delhi to Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and other big cities. India’s coronavirus infections jumped by 4,214, the most ever, to 67,152. 

Deaths from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, has reached 2,206, the ministry of health said on Monday. A fifth of India’s cases come from the densely populated cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Pune, which are also major centres of economic activity. 

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said three-fourths of Delhi’s cases of coronavirus were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms and did not need hospital treatment. 

“Overall corona figures (are) rising in Delhi but at the same time people are getting cured and going back home safe. Now we’ve to learn to live with corona,” he said. (Reuters). 

 

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