People queue for food in Chandigarh, India on April 24. Photo: Keshav Singh/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
India's nationwide coronavirus lockdown will be extended until May 18, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced on Friday.
Why it matters: India is now overseeing one of the longest-running coronavirus lockdowns in the world, beaten only by Italy, which plans to ease restrictions beginning on May 4.
- India has reported 1,223 deaths and over 37,000 coronavirus cases, per Johns Hopkins data. Their national lockdown, which began in late March, will now last nearly 60 days.
- Millions of people in India have had to rely on government food handouts and other subsidies to stay afloat.
Flashback: Last week, India relaxed some lockdown measures and allowed neighborhood shops outside of coronavirus hotspots to reopen. The previous week, rural manufacturing and farming activities were allowed to resume.
- Between the lines: Officials had to persuade fearful leaders and residents into the partial reopening, the Indian Express reported this week.
Details: Hotspots in India are classified as "red zones," the Ministry wrote in its Friday guidelines. Contact tracing, home quarantines, testing, house surveillance, and counseling are priorities for containment areas in those hotspots.
- Current hotspots in the country include Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Delhi, the New York Times reports.