India coronavirus: PM Narendra Modi outlines economic rescue package

Underprivileged Indians queue for tea in AmritsarImage copyright

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The lockdown has hit poorer Indians and migrant workers hard

Indian PM Narendra Modi has announced an economic package of more than $260bn to help cope with the country’s prolonged coronavirus lockdown.

In a TV address, he said the funds, around 10% of India’s GDP, would support farmers and small businesses.

He said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman would announce further details in the next few days.

On Tuesday, some passenger rail services resumed, an important symbol of the slow return to normality.

India has confirmed about 70,000 cases of coronavirus and about 2,300 deaths, although some analysts suggest low testing rates may mean many cases are missed.

The very strict lockdown, which started on 25 March, has already caused huge economic distress, with tens of millions of poorer Indians and migrant workers worst affected.

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