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Coronavirus

India Cautiously Starts to Open Up as Virus Cases Decline

NEW DELHI — Businesses in two of India’s largest cities were reopening Monday as part of a phased easing of lockdown measures in several states now that the number of new coronavirus infections in India is on a steady decline.

India’s capital allowed businesses and shops to reopen with limited hours and the Delhi Metro, which serves New Delhi and adjoining areas, also resumed operations at 50% capacity. Last week, authorities in the capital allowed some manufacturing and construction activity to resume.

“Now the corona situation is under control. The economy must be brought back on track,” New Delhi’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, told reporters on Sunday.

The strict lockdown measures had been in place since April at the start of a devastating surge in infections that lasted well into May and overwhelmed health care facilities in many parts of the country.

Some health experts fear the restrictions are being eased too soon and there are concerns that the virus is still spreading unchecked through India’s villages, where testing and medical care are limited.

Kejriwal warned that any new surge in infections could be more severe and said the administration will build new oxygen-production facilities and expand the capacity of intensive-care units.

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