Photo: Vishal Bhatnagar/NurPhoto via Getty Images

India began to relax its lockdown measures on Saturday in some parts of the country, as the government slowly allows neighborhood stores to reopen outside known hotspots, AP reports.

Why it matters: India had among the strictest stay-at-home orders in the world and the measures, introduced March 24, have taken their toll economically, forcing millions of people to rely on government food handouts and other subsidies.

Driving the news: In an announcement Friday evening, India’s Ministry of Home Affairs said it would let shops in rural areas resume.

  • Even though the government is easing the lockdown, that does not apply to hundreds of quarantined towns and other hotspots.
  • Shopping malls and liquor stores will remain closed, but families that own small retail businesses will experience some economic relief.
  • India allowed manufacturing and farming activities in rural areas to restart last week so daily-wage earners could get some relief.

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