Photo used for illustrative purpose.
The southern Indian state of Karnataka, home to technology and outsourcing hub Bengaluru, will impose a lockdown for 14 days starting from April 27 evening in an effort to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases, the state's chief minister said on Monday.
Karnataka is the latest region to enter a lockdown after similar curbs in many parts of India, which is battling a massive second wave of infections that has pressured its health system. The region is the latest to impose restrictions after similar lockdowns or curfews in many parts of India, which is in the middle of a massive second wave of infections that has swamped its health system.
Bengaluru, a city of 12 million, reported more than 20,000 new infections on Sunday, its highest single-day tally so far. Among major Indian cities, Bengaluru's daily surge is currently second only to that in the national capital Delhi.
Microsoft, Amazon and Goldman Sachs are among the hundreds of multi-national firms with technology or IT operations in Bengaluru which employ thousands of English-speaking professionals.
Indian IT services giants including Infosys, Wipro and Tata Consultancy Services also have major operations in the city.
Much of city's white-collar workforce has worked remotely for the past year, but other industries in Karnataka, including apparel manufacturing, have faced disruptions which have led to layoffs in some cases.
The curbs come as India's hospitals, both in Bengaluru and elsewhere, are overwhelmed by a flood of patient admissions. The country has given more than 141 million vaccine doses, but only forms a small proportion of its 1.4 billion population.
The ban, which runs to Jan.22, excludes indoor political party events of less than 300 people, or at 50% of a venue's capacity, the watchdog said in a statement. India reported 268,833 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours.
India's health ministry reported 4,187 fatalities over the past 24 hours, taking the overall death toll close to 240,000. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates that India will see 1 million COVID deaths by August.
The number of Indians in the middle class, or those earning between $10 and $20 a day, shrunk by about 32 million, compared with the number that could have been reached in the absence of a pandemic, the Pew Research Centre said.
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