10 foreigners who broke a coronavirus lockdown by walking along the banks of the Ganga in Rishikesh, India, were asked to write "I am so sorry" 500 times as punishment by the police, according to the Times of India. The travelers were from the United States, Mexico, Austria, Ukraine and Israel.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to extend the country's nationwide lockdown to the end of April to tackle the spread of the coronavirus, local media reported.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Modi has "taken [the] correct decision to extend [the] lockdown." The Prime Minister had a video conference call with several state ministers on Saturday before making his decision.
The current 21-day lockdown, which was declared late March , is due to end on Tuesday. But with the death toll rising, several chief ministers from India's 29 states and territories have been pressing Modi to prolong restrictions on the 1.3 billion population.
There are concerns that the restrictions have put millions of poor people out of work and forced an exodus of migrant workers from cities to villages.
Thousands decided to walk home as public transport has been suspended in this period. They got stranded on the highways between states as it took days for them to travel hundreds of kilometers by foot.
Indian officials have said widespread virus infections could be disastrous in a country where millions live in slums and the health system is already overburdened.
On Saturday, healthcare workers conducted a door-to-door screening of residents in Mumbai's Dharavi area, India's largest slum cluster. Dharavi, with a population of about one million packed together in 2.1 square kilometers with only one toilet per 1,440 residents, has reported 43 positive cases of COVID-19, and five people have died.
Indian officials said the coronavirus cases in the country increased to 9,152 on Monday, including 308 deaths.
India has converted 5,000 passenger train coaches into quarantine wards, providing 40,000 beds to help ease the shortage of isolation wards. With the surge of COVID-19 cases, the Indian railway department has set a target of converting 20,000 train coaches into areas for quarantine.
The country also said its hospital network is adequately prepared to tackle the spread of the virus, as it has over 100,000 beds ready for a potential surge in patient numbers.