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India shuts off economy for world's largest coronavirus lockdown

Factories and stores forced to close, in further blow to decelerating growth

People buy vegetables at a market in New Delhi after Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a three-week nationwide lockdown to limit the spreading of the coronavirus.   © Reuters

MUMBAI -- Much of India's economy came to a halt under a three-week nationwide lockdown that began Wednesday, shutting down stores and manufacturing plants, with broad repercussions for the nation's 1.3 billion people.

The order mandates the closure of all nonessential businesses and government offices. Those allowed to stay open include producers and sellers of food and medical products, as well as telecommunications and power companies, banks, law enforcement and media.

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