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Migrant Workers Flee India’s Capital Ahead of Lockdown as Coronavirus Cases Soar

HeadlineApr 20, 2021

India’s capital has been ordered to lock down for six days as coronavirus cases surge to record levels. Just before the lockdown took effect, thousands of migrant workers rushed to bus terminals in Delhi’s outskirts, bound for hometowns away from the capital. Public health officials warn the mass exodus could lead to new COVID outbreaks. India reported nearly 260,000 new infections Monday, but a shortage of testing capacity means the true level of infection is likely much higher. Several major Indian cities have reported far higher numbers of cremations and burials than official death counts.

About 8% of people in India have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. On Friday, the head of the Serum Institute of India — the world’s single largest producer of vaccines — urged President Joe Biden to lift a U.S. export ban on raw materials critical to the production of vaccines.

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