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The world’s largest coronavirus lockdown has been extended in India

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The world’s largest coronavirus lockdown has been extended in India

india lockdown extended
Photo: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

India’s three week lockdown to combat COVID-19, due to end today, has now been extended for three weeks as infection rates and death tolls continue to rise.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked 1.3 billion people to remain indoors as the Indian economy has come to nearly a complete halt, leaving millions without work and on the streets in a fleeting attempt to reach their homes in other cities. Two of India’s states—Punjab and Odisha— preempted the government, extending their respective lockdown periods before the national lockdown was put in place on Sunday.

The overall future outlook in India is bleak. There is minimal data on tracking the rate of infection across areas like Mumbai, Pune and Delhi, which is particularly concerning as the slums in these regions remain most at risk for exposure due to a low standard of living and high population density. The virus, coupled with the cramped conditions, could be a humanitarian crisis in waiting.

Despite this, India is attempting to keep its economy alive by maintaining a “lock-in” at factories, with workers living on site and continuing operations in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors, indicating a complete economic shutdown is not imminent in the short-term despite reduced activity.

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Photo: REUTERS/Luc Gnago

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