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India eases Covid restrictions on New Delhi and Mumbai as coronavirus cases fall to two-month low

India eases Covid restrictions on New Delhi and Mumbai as coronavirus cases fall to two-month low
New Delhi and Mumbai have begun easing Covid restrictions, as cases in India fall to a two-month low following a spike earlier this year that saw the Asian nation repeatedly report a global record number of daily infections. 

“We have to stay safe from corona infection and also bring the economy back on track,” New Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted on Monday, as restrictions were relaxed.

New Delhi’s metro has now been given permission to reopen at a 50% operating capacity. Shopping malls in the two cities are now allowed to reopen, although they have to follow social distancing guidelines, with locations elsewhere in the country that have lower infection rates allowed to fully reopen. 

Authorities in two of India’s largest cities had imposed strict Covid restrictions in response to the record rise in infections during a deadly wave of the virus in April and May that overwhelmed the nation’s health system. 

Shortages in oxygen and medical supplies exacerbated the situation in the country, limiting the nation’s ability to respond, seeing it become the second worst-infected country, only behind America’s 33 million infections.  

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New Delhi was reporting 25,000 cases of Covid per day during the peak of the past wave; that number had fallen to only 381 new infections on Sunday, according to health officials in the region. Likewise while Mumbai saw daily infections spike to more than 11,000 in early April, it was down to 794 on Sunday.

Since the start of the pandemic, India has recorded 28.8 million confirmed cases of the virus, as well as 346,759 fatalities. With the nation’s inoculation program underway, 218.4 million doses of a Covid vaccine have been administered.

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