The state of Maharashtra and its capital Mumbai are the current focal points of the country’s infectious rise.
The Indian state of Maharashtra has announced stricter coronavirus restriction measures including in the region’s capital Mumbai, due to increased infections and insufficient oxygen supplies.
India is experiencing a fierce new wave of COVID-19 with about a million new cases reported in the past week.
The new restrictions will force all “non-essential” stores, malls and e-commerce delivery services to be suspended from Wednesday through May 1.
Filming, TV shows and commercials in Bollywood will also be halted, a blow to India’s leading film industry.
Bars and restaurants closed earlier this month, and public gatherings over 5 people are banned.
The new measures follow Maharashtra’s move to impose statewide weekend lockouts, leaving the state’s 125 million people at home until the end of April unless shopping for food, medicine or leaving. travel.
“All factories / industries” prohibit certain export-oriented entities and those that manufacture items required for essential services “must stop their operations,” a statement said. the government said.
Recognizing that tighter restrictions will affect the economy and employment, state Premier Uddhav Thackeray urged citizens to abide by the new rules, adding: “Life is more important than livelihoods. .
“You have to decide whether you will help the halo or help the fighting halo,” he said in a televised speech.
The government said it will allow e-commerce delivery but only for essential products.
The restrictions would shake businesses in Maharashtra but also risk a broader impact on the Indian economy. The state accounts for nearly 15% of India’s gross domestic product (GDP), playing an important role in the country’s economic recovery after months of recession.
Suffering is widespread
Thackeray said India’s most severely affected country is also grappling with a shortage of oxygen, and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to deploy air force and send new supplies.
After a shutdown a year ago that caused widespread misery and one of the strongest recessions of any major economy, the central government is desperate to avoid one. The latter is extremely uncommon.
But many states are tightening ties, notably Maharashtra and its capital Mumbai, the epicenter of the outbreak, have recorded nearly 87,000 infections since the pandemic began.
This week, India overtook Brazil as the country with the second highest number of coronavirus infections, with experts blaming complacency and frustration with coronavirus for the increase in cases.
India’s efforts to vaccinate 1.3 billion people have also run into hurdles, local authorities say, with just 108.5 million shots so far and stocks low, according to officials. local responsibility.
On Tuesday, India said it would follow up with urgent approvals of vaccines already approved by Western countries and Japan. The Ministry of Health said the decision is aimed at speeding up the use of injections made in other countries and expanding the “basket of vaccines” available for domestic use.
The ministry also said Russia’s Sputnik V has also been given a green light for use in an emergency.