Despite the country’s surge in coronavirus cases and deaths, India on Saturday further relaxed its lockdown restrictions.
Indian authorities further eased restrictions on the coronavirus lockdown on Saturday, despite a surge in cases and deaths across the country.
India has the world’s fastest growing number of recorded cases, now at 3.5 million, and more than 62,000 pandemic deaths. It is currently the third worst hit country in the world behind the United States and Brazil.
But since the first national restrictions were imposed in March, millions of people have lost their jobs and the government is under pressure to release the economy.
The Ministry of Civil Affairs stated that starting next month, up to 100 people will be allowed to participate in face masks and social isolation activities in cultural, entertainment, sports and political activities.
In major cities, subway train services will also be allowed to resume “graded”.
The coronavirus has severely hit major cities such as Mumbai and New Delhi, but it is now rapidly developing in smaller cities and rural areas.
The new government guidelines order schools and universities to remain closed, but students can voluntarily meet with teachers in school buildings if needed.
The government boycotted a large-scale campaign initiated by students to postpone the entrance exams for the School of Medicine and Engineering, which will be attended by about 2 million students next month.
The students said they were worried about contracting the virus in examination rooms across the country. The authorities say they are taking special measures for the exam.
The government also stated that states cannot impose complete lockdowns on areas other than areas considered to be “holding areas” where large numbers of cases are reported. Due to the increase in the number of cases, some states have adopted stricter measures in recent weeks.
The main opposition parties called on the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to formulate a firm plan to stop the spread of the epidemic.
With more than 70,000 cases being added each day, experts say it could be many weeks before the pandemic peaks in the country of 1.3 billion people.