India again extend nationwide lockdown by two weeks from May 4

New Delhi. India will extend its nationwide lockdown by two weeks from May 4 but will ease it in some areas to revive economic activity that’s been stalled during the stringent stay-at-home restrictions in place across the country since March 25.

There will be no movement between states allowed during this time, although authorities will partially relax measures in areas where no new coronavirus infections have been reported, the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement on Friday.

Industrial establishments in urban areas, including special economic zones, will be allowed to operate, as well as manufacturing units for essential goods, including drugs, pharmaceuticals and medical devices and IT hardware production, the ministry said. Private offices and government departments can operate with 33% capacity

The number of new infections being reported in the country has not fallen despite the 40-day long lockdown. India had reported just over 600 infections and 10 deaths on March 25 when the strict curbs came into effect. Those numbers now stand at over 35,000 infections and more than 1,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

India’s easing of restrictions is primarily aimed at reviving its economy, which could be heading for its first full-year contraction in more than four decades, as the world’s biggest lockdown has crippled business activity and put a lid on consumption. It has also resulted in widespread job losses and pay cuts.

The country had eased some restrictions on April 20 to allow farmers and some industries to resume operations in rural areas and in districts that were free of infections.

The home ministry said on Wednesday daily wage workers stranded without jobs or income because of the lockdown had been allowed to go home by road with certain conditions.

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