India’s capital New Delhi, and the country’s financial capital, Mumbai began reducing restrictions gradually as coronavirus cases dropped in two months.
In April and May, hospitals in the megacities which have a combined population of almost 40 million people were overburdened by a deadly Covid-19 outbreak, resulting in severe oxygen and other necessary medical shortages.
With well under 29 million infections, India became the second deadliest country after the United States, reporting record-breaking numbers of cases and deaths.
Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “We have to stay safe from corona infection and also bring the economy back on track,”
Some shops and malls were allowed to reopen and Metro services were allowed to operate at 50% capacity in Delhi.
According to the latest report, the northern city reported an average of 25,000 daily cases.
Officials said that the number of infections had dropped to 381.
Rajendra Kalkar of Phoenix Mills, which manages three shopping centers in Maharashtra said, “This is a step in the right direction,”
“Businesses at our malls are coming back slowly. This is a very welcome step for thousands of mall staff and retail employees.”
During the Maharashtra shutdown, the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India reported that over two million jobs were affected.
The restaurant manager of the Mumbai branch of popular eatery Social, Malay said, “We are very happy to open our doors again today,”
While the crisis has subsided in Delhi, Mumbai, and other big cities, experts warn that the disease is still spreading in rural areas and southern states.
India reported 400,000-plus cases in May, and over 100,000 new infections, and nearly 2,500 deaths on Monday.
Although experts caution that the exact toll might be significantly higher, and there have been suspicions of undercounting, the health ministry claimed total deaths were just under 347,000 so far.