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India to ease blocking rules as the number of coronavirus cases decreases

A health worker in personal protective equipment (PPE) takes a swab sample from a woman during a rapid coronavirus antigen test campaign (COVID-19) on the platform of a railway station in Mumbai, India, March 17, 2021. REUTERS / Francis Mascarenias

India reported 114,460 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, the lowest in two months, while the death toll rose by 2,677 as parts of the country prepared to ease restrictions on movement.

According to the Ministry of Health, India has the second largest number of coronavirus infections after the United States with a total of 28.8 million cases. The country has suffered 346,759 deaths.

A second wave of coronavirus, which has largely shattered the country’s rural areas, has not yet subsided, but New Delhi and other cities are working to allow more businesses to operate and traffic rules to be eased from Monday onwards.

The western state of Maharashtra, which is India’s richest and suffered the most infections during the second wave, plans to start this week, gradually easing a strict lock imposed in April.

Scientists have warned of a third wave of coronavirus that could hit India later in the year, likely to affect more children.

Although the country has stepped up its vaccination efforts in the last few weeks after a slow start, most of its 1.3 billion people are expected to remain unvaccinated until a potential third wave strikes.

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