India extends lockdown through May 31 as reported Covid-19 cases exceed China’s

India extended the country’s foreclosure on Sunday until May 31, when the number of cases exceeded 90,000 and new clashes broke out between police and stranded migrants.

Schools, shopping malls and other public places will for the most part remain closed, but rules will be relaxed in low-case areas, according to an order from the Interior Ministry.

“New guidelines have allowed for a significant relaxation of the lockout restrictions,” the ministry said in a tweet accompanying the order.

Large gatherings are still prohibited, but outside containment areas with a high number of active cases “all other activities will be allowed,” he said, potentially allowing commerce and industry to reopen in a much of the country.

Decisions on where to define containment zones will be decided by district authorities, according to the ordinance.

Several Indian states, some of which had lobbied the federal government for easing the lockdown, immediately declared that they would allow many businesses to restart.

Gujarat’s chief minister, Vijay Rupani, said that all industries and offices would be allowed to operate, except those located in the containment areas.

India has also relaxed its position on a contact finder, which it says is mandatory for all public and private sector employees who return to work.

Although he once said that business and organizational leaders should “ensure 100% coverage” of the Aarogya Setu app among employees, he now says that employers should encourage employees to use the app. ‘best’ application.

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India has now reported more cases than China, where the virus first appeared at the end of last year, although the death toll at 2,872 remains well below 4,600 in China. . The death toll in the United States and some European countries is much higher.

The foreclosure of India, introduced on March 25 and extended several times, was to expire at midnight on Sunday.

The restrictions have triggered a crisis for the hundreds of millions of Indians who depend on daily wages to survive.

Without work – and little public transport – many urban migrants who try to return to their villages of origin have undertaken exhausting journeys on foot or harnessing the backs of trucks.

In Rajkot, west Gujarat, more than 1,500 migrant workers blocked roads, damaged more than a dozen vehicles and threw stones at police on Sunday after the cancellation of two special trains supposed to take them home them.

A police official in Shapar told Reuters police that he had instructed the migrants to disperse them, several officers injured during the process.

“The workers had not assembled with the intention of violence. Two or three trains were rescheduled, but workers misunderstood that the trains had been canceled and used violence, “Balram Meena, Rajkot police chief, told local media.

“We are identifying those implicated in the violence,” added Meena.

At least 23 migrants were killed on Saturday while trying to return home when a truck crashed in northern India.

Sixteen migrant workers died on May 8 after being struck by a train. They fell asleep on the rails on their way back to their village after losing their jobs in the isolation of the coronavirus, said the police.

(REUTERS)