India is pushing to open again as the burden of coronavirus becomes heavier
Amy Kazmin in New Delhi
India will reopen restaurants and religious sites on Monday, even as coronaviruses spread rapidly, with nearly 10,000 new cases per day detected despite the country’s restrictive testing regime.
India now has the world’s fifth heaviest coronavirus load with more than 257,500 confirmed cases – surpassing the severely affected Spain and Italy for the total number of infected. Of those, more than 7,200 have died.
The right number of infections in the population is far higher as India has one of the most limited testing regimens in the world, making it difficult for anyone ̵
It is believed that India also underestimates its mortality for the virus because people who die at home or shortly after arrival at the hospital are often not tested or counted as coronavirus deaths.
Hospitals in some of India’s most affected cities – including New Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad – are also increasingly overwhelmed with attacks on coronavirus patients. In recent days, Indian social media has been inundated with reports of families desperately going from hospital to hospital to try to access critically ill or very vulnerable coronavirus patients.
In New Delhi, local authorities have now decided that patients should have proof that they are residents of the city to visit hospitals in the city.
Despite this evidence of serious strain on health care, India is aggressively moving to reopen its economy and various public spaces following the hammer strike of the draconian lockdown imposed in late March. The stern measures destroyed India’s economy while doing little to stop the spread of the virus.
Restaurants, shopping malls, archaeological monuments and religious sites will open in many parts of the country this week.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that Indians must learn to live with coronavirus, though he left it to the states to determine the pace of the reopening