India Extends Lockdown But Some States Are Letting Businesses Operate
As coronavirus cases keep surmounting, India has extended nationwide lockdown until the end of May. However, concrete remedy measures for daily wage earners and migrant workers have not taken place. This lockdown announcement comes as many officials now fear the virus could engulf more lives and the outbreak would spiral out of control.
India now has over 100,000 COVID-19 cases and death count exceeding 3,000. The country has witnessed the highest surge in cases in the recent week as on n May 17 alone, 5,050 new cases and 154 new deaths were reported.
However, strict measures and enforcement mechanisms vary across states depending on the infection rates and consecutive districts. For instance, while restaurants, malls, schools, and religious centers will remain closed, barber services and interstate bus travel will continue unabated ignoring social distancing amid rising COVID-19 infections around the country.
On the other hand, the Indian interior ministry attributed the responsibility to district authorities to underline “containment zones” that have higher number of COVID-19 cases. Meanwhile, outside of those zones “all other activities will be permitted.” Many states have hinted that businesses would be opened.
The lockdown has exacerbated the woes of millions of daily wagers and migrant workers who have no way of transport to back home. Indian authorities are struggling to address the daily tribulations of feeding the families and as COVID-19 spreads worsening the existing class and communal fault lines.