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Indian cities opening up after declining COVID-19 infections
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 06 - 06 - 2021

With COVID-19 infections coming down to the lowest level country-wide in nearly two months to 120,529 new cases during the last 24 hours, India's major cities Sunday announced significant relaxations in lockdowns in New Delhi and Mumbai.
Government and private offices will be allowed to reopen with 50 percent attendance from Monday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said at a media briefing. Markets and malls will reopen on an odd-even basis from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Delhi Metro will operate at 50 percent capacity.
In Mumbai too, offices will only be allowed from Monday to function with 50 percent capacity till 4 p.m. The same restriction will apply to restaurants both in occupancy level and timing of service. Fifty persons will be permitted at weddings and 20 at funerals.
Malls and entertainment places, such as theaters, will continue to be locked down, but individual stores may stay open till 4 p.m. Local train services will be restricted to those engaged in essential services, but buses may operate at full capacity with no standee passengers.
In Maharashtra state, the government has announced a five-level plan to relax the lockdowns based on the weekly positivity rate and the occupancy of oxygen beds.
Kejriwal said the Delhi government was preparing for the third wave of COVID-19 infections and projecting 37,000 daily cases at its peak. It was making arrangements for beds, ICUs and medicines with that projection in mind.
Meanwhile, over 1.63 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with the states and UTs to be administered, the Union Health Ministry said on Sunday.
Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh and Goa governments on Saturday extended the COVID restrictions in their respective states till June 14. However, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. K. Stalin said though lockdown will be in place, some of the curbs will be eased from Monday, except in 11 districts where the number of new cases reported was still high. Both Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh government also announced cancelation of Class 12 state board examinations.
More than 172.85 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 3,865,375 have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019. — Agencies


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