The world’s largest lockdown of 1.3 billion people in India has been extended until the end of the month. The extension comes as the country reported 4,987 new infections, its largest single-day jump in confirmed cases, on Sunday, 17 May, although the government has eased some restrictions to revitalise the economy.
India’s nationwide lockdown has been in effect since March, and has had a devastating effect on the country’s poor. Millions of migrant workers have also lost their jobs.
“Lockdown measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 will continue” until 31 May, at the very least, according to a statement from the home affairs ministry.
Malls, cinemas, gyms, schools and places of worship are to remain closed. Large gatherings for sporting events and religious purposes will also remain prohibited. Also part of the lockdown measure is the continued suspension of city metro train services as well as domestic and international air travel. There is a night curfew to restrict public movement as well from 7 pm to 7 am.
Restaurants will be allowed to reopen their kitchens for takeaway. Sports complexes and stadiums can likewise resume operations and host events but without spectators.
Buses and passenger vehicles operating inter-state and intra-state have been authorised, but their operations are subject to the discretion of states and territories.
The National Disaster Management Authority will update the restrictions “as necessary, keeping in view the need to open up economic activities.” State governments have been given flexibility to tailor their own local measures in response to the pandemic as well.
As of 17 May, India has already surpassed China’s caseload with at least 90.927 cases and 2,872 deaths.