India’s Modi warns against flouting rules as some cities extend coronavirus lockdowns

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Several Indian cities prepared to extend their lockdowns to combat the spread of the infection on Tuesday, with daily new cases in the country remaining close to 20,000

“Ever since started in the country, negligence in personal and social behaviour has been increasing,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a televised address, adding citizens were ignoring guidelines on social distancing and hand washing.Under pressure for leaving the poor to fend for themselves early in a stringent lockdown that began in March, Modi also announced the extension of a scheme providing free food grains to 800 million Indians, at a cost of around $12-billion.

India reported 18,522 new cases over the previous 24 hours, according to federal health data released on Tuesday, down slightly from Sunday’s record of 19,906. More than 16,000 people have died in India – a low figure when compared with countries with similar numbers of cases – though experts fear its hospitals will be unable to cope with a steep rise in infections.India on Wednesday enters what Modi has called “Unlock 2.0”, with many curbs on movement relaxed, though schools, cinemas, gyms and bars will remain shut. But some states have imposed their own lockdowns in cities with significant outbreaks.

“There have been about 175 positive cases reported on Monday only in Guwahati, which is a matter of serious concern.”

 

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