New Delhi starts phased easing of lockdown

Authorities in New Delhi have started easing coronavirus restrictions in phases, citing the falling number of new cases in the Indian capital.

The government of New Delhi allowed factories and construction sites to resume operations from Monday.

Residents have been banned from making nonessential outings in the city since mid-April. Officials now say they need to strike a balance between preventive measures and economic activities.

They say they will reintroduce strict measures if case counts start to rise again.

The capital was seeing nearly 30,000 daily cases at one point. Severe shortages of oxygen and hospital beds resulted in a large number of fatalities.

The daily case count announced on Monday fell to 946.

Nationwide, new cases hit more than 400,000 a day in early May, but cases have been on the decline recently, mainly in urban areas.

Monday saw around 150,000 reported across India. Despite the drop, more than 3,000 deaths are still being reported each day.

Medical services remain overburdened, and restrictions on outings remain in place in many states.