Countries take cautious steps on easing virus restrictions

NEW DELHI (AP) — A tentative easing around the world of coronavirus restrictions is gathering pace with the reopening in India of neighborhood stores that many of the country’s 1.3 billion people rely on for basic goods. The relaxation of the Indian lockdown did not apply to hundreds of quarantined towns or shopping malls. The U.S. states of Georgia, Oklahoma and Alaska also began loosening lockdown orders on their pandemic-wounded businesses. As the global death toll climbed toward 200,000, Italy said free protective masks will be distributed to nursing homes, police, public officials and transport workers, preparing for the return to work of millions when lockdown restrictions are eased from May 4.