In India, calls for an easing of the nationwide lockdown which has caused deep economic pain are growing. While a strict shutdown for its 1.3 billion people is due to end in India on May 3, Prime Minister Narendra Modi began talks with the chief ministers of the country’s 28 states to decide on what restrictions should be kept in place.
Ashok Gehlot, chief minister of Rajasthan, said any extension of the severe lockdown could lead to people starving and the government should allow economic activity to begin in less-affected areas. Some 300 of India’s 730 districts have reported no cases of the coronavirus.
“I can’t say how many people will die of corona, but if the situation continues, people will die of hunger,” he said.
India’s has 27,891 confirmed infections of the new coronavirus, according to government data on Monday, the second highest amount in Asia after China. So far 872 people have died.
The government says the lockdown has meant that it now takes 10 days for cases to double, compared with 3.6 days last month.
“The situation in the country is improving. Hotspot districts are being turned into non-hotspot districts,” Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said.