Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged Indians to comply with a national blockade and social distancing measures on Sunday, a day after some of the world's toughest restrictions were eased slightly as Covid-19 cases continued increasing.
In a radio address, Modi said the country was in the midst of a "war" and that the 1.3 billion citizens of the country should not be misled into believing that the spread of the virus had been controlled for more than a month. closing.
"We should not be caught in overconfidence and nurture the belief that coronavirus has not reached our city, our town, our streets, our office, and therefore will not reach them," Modi said.
India's high population density, poor sanitation infrastructure, and high levels of internal migration have raised concerns about the spread of the virus.
The country has reported 26,496 cases of Covid-19, the disease it causes, and 824 deaths.
Authorities have set up teams to focus on compliance with the blockade measures imposed on March 25, but experts fear they have been unable to contain the spread of Covid-19.
"Physical distancing, covering the face with a mask or a mask and washing our hands over and over again will be the greatest medicine to combat this disease in the coming days," Modi said.
The closure, in which national and international travel is prohibited and factories, schools, offices and all stores other than those that provide essential services are closed, is scheduled to end on May 3, but authorities may extend it.
On Saturday, India allowed some small stores in residential areas to reopen with half the usual number of staff members working at any time with masks and gloves.
The government announced a spending package of 1.7 trillion Indian rupees ($ 22.29 billion) in March and said Reuters on Friday he offered food and cash for essentials to the poor and marginalized and had established relief camps in various parts of the country.
The $ 2.9 trillion economy, which is already slowing, may end without growing at all in the fiscal year that began April 1, private economists say, putting further pressure on jobs.
In Modi's home state of Gujarat, government officials on Sunday reversed the decision to open several outlets, citing an increasing number of infections across the western state.
Authorities continued to send hundreds of migrant workers who had left on foot from cities where they had lost their livelihoods to their homes or quarantine centers across India.
In the eastern state of Odisha, nearly two dozen fishermen were detained and quarantined on the coast after sailing for five days from the south coast, an official said.
Thousands of people package coronavirus quarantine centers in government buildings across India, complaining of poor food and sanitation. The lack of social distance between inmates has given rise to minor disputes.
Three men were arrested after a woman said she was gang-raped while under temporary quarantine alone in a school building in the desert state of Rajasthan, police said.
Many health workers also complained about poor facilities in overburdened hospitals and nursing homes in India.
In West Bengal state, a health official succumbed to Covid-19 infection on Sunday, the state prime minister said. Two policemen died in the western city of Mumbai after being infected with the virus in the past two days, authorities said.
Cases arise in South Asia
Neighboring Nepal extended a national blockade until May 7, as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases increased to more than 50.
Sri Lanka imposed a 24-hour national blockade after nearly 100 cases of the new coronavirus emerged in a navy camp near the capital city of Colombo.
Afghan authorities were fighting to implement blockades to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in a border province with Iran, where the outbreak is widening due to the influx of Afghan returnees and men refusing to adhere to the social distancing.
Hundreds of textile workers in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka took to the streets on Sunday demanding wages, ignoring the social distancing measures imposed during the country's closure.