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8 Apr, 2020 11:04

India’s authorities consider narrowing lockdown to Covid-19 hotspots

India’s authorities consider narrowing lockdown to Covid-19 hotspots

India is considering plans to seal off coronavirus hotspots in Delhi, Mumbai and parts of the south while easing curbs elsewhere, Reuters reported officials as saying on Wednesday. The country is seeking a way out of a three-week lockdown that has caused deep economic distress.

The lockdown of India’s 1.3 billion people to prevent an epidemic of Covid-19 ends on April 14. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is due to take a decision this week on whether to extend it.

More than 80 percent of the positive cases of the coronavirus have been traced to 62 districts – less than 10 percent of India’s landmass, the government says. These are concentrated in the western state of Maharashtra, home to financial capital Mumbai, Delhi and the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Kerala. Many parts of the country have not reported a single case.

“We are working on a cluster containment strategy,” said Health Ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal, leading the effort to tackle the outbreak. Under the ‘Bhilwara model,’ which was adopted last month soon after about 30 people tested positive, the town and its surrounding villages were tightly sealed with a virtual curfew in place.