India extends lockdown to 31st


NEW DELHI: India on Sunday extended the nationwide lockdown to May 31 as cases exceeded 90,000 and further clashes erupted between police and stranded migrants.
Schools, malls and other public places will remain mostly closed, though rules will be relaxed in areas with low numbers of cases, according to an order from the interior ministry.
“New guidelines have permitted considerable relaxations in lockdown restrictions,” the ministry said in a tweet accompanying the order.
Large gatherings are still prohibited, but outside of containment zones with high numbers of active cases, “all other activities will be permitted”, it said, potentially allowing commerce and industry to reopen across much of the country.
Decisions on where to set containment zones would be decided by district authorities, the order said. India has now reported more cases than China, where the virus first emerged late last year, although deaths at 2,872 remain much lower than China’s 4,600.
The death toll in the United States and some European countries is much higher.
India’s lockdown, introduced on March 25 and extended several times, had been due to expire at midnight on Sunday.
With no work and little public transport many urban migrants attempting to return to their home villages have set out on gruelling journeys on foot or hitched rides in the back of trucks.–Agencies