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.

Go deeper: What world leaders are doing and saying about coronavirus

Go deeper

Aug 2, 2020 - Health

Birx: U.S. has entered new phase of coronavirus pandemic

White House coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx said Sunday on CNN that the U.S. has shifted into a new phase of the coronavirus pandemic, as infections have spread further into rural areas than in March and April.

Why it matters: Coronavirus infections in rural communities have surpassed the number of cases in big cities — and areas in the U.S. with fewer coronavirus testing sites were predominately rural as of May.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022 — Trump's testing czar: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests
  2. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases
  3. Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  4. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.

In pictures: Storm Zeta churns inland after lashing Louisiana

Debris on the streets as then-Hurricane Zeta passes over in Arabi, Louisiana, on Oct. 28. It's the third hurricane to hit Louisiana in about two months, after Laura and Delta. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Zeta has killed at least two people, triggered flooding, downed powerlines and caused widespread outages since making landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday.

The big picture: A record 11 named storms have made landfall in the U.S. this year. Zeta is the fifth named storm to do so in Louisiana in 2020, the most ever recorded. It weakened t0 a tropical storm early Thursday, as it continued to lash parts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle with heavy rains and strong winds.