News Coronavirus India daring to hope it is leaving its COVID nightmare behind

India daring to hope it is leaving its COVID nightmare behind

Exhausted medicos may finally get a chance to grab some rest now that COVID infections are on the downswing. Photo: Getty
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Some Indian states are easing lockdown restrictions as coronavirus infections subside, with the world’s second most populous nation logging its lowest daily case count in nearly two months.

The national capital of Delhi was among those relaxing restrictions on Saturday and will allow shops to open on alternate days.

Shops with even numbers will open on one day while those with odd numbers will open the next day.

Private offices will also be allowed to operate at 50 per cent of normal staffing levels.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the state will build oxygen storage capacity of 420 tonnes.

“The coronavirus situation in Delhi is slowly getting better,” Mr Kejriwal said in an online news conference.

Hospitals in Delhi had struggled to provide oxygen cylinders and beds to patients as infections surged but that wave began subsiding from the middle of last month.

Kejriwal said the state would in future be prepared to deal with 37,000 new cases a day. Its peak thus far was 28,395 new infections on April 20.

In northern Uttar Pradesh, the country’s most populous state, only night curfew restrictions remain for 55 of its 75 districts.

“Districts which have positive cases under 600 have been given permission to open but with restrictions, while cities with over 600 positive cases will be under lockdown till the next order,” a local government spokesperson said.

Overall, India has seen 120,529 new coronavirus infections emerge over the latest 24-hour tally period, while deaths rose by 3380.

The country’s total case tally stands at 28.69 million while 344,082 people have died.