That factory is now open. But while managers paid workers during the lockdown, fewer orders were coming in. That meant no overtime pay, which previously made up a quarter of Mr. Khan’s income. He resorted to selling sports shoes at the roadside after work.

“We are not getting orders. There is very little work,” Mr. Khan said. “Now, I am standing on the road at night with the shoes in front of me. What else can I do?”

Kritika Sony contributed reporting.

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In India, a Second Wave of Covid-19 Prompts a New Exodus

NEW DELHI — As dawn broke over Mumbai, India, on Wednesday, Kaleem Ansari sat among a crowd of thousands outside the central rail station waiting for his train to pull in. Mr. Ansari, a factory worker, carried old clothes in his backpack and 200 rupees — not quite $3 — in his pocket.

His factory, which makes sandals, had just closed. Mumbai was locking down as a second wave of the coronavirus rippled through India. Mr. Ansari, originally from a small village nearly a thousand miles away, had been in Mumbai a year ago when it first went into lockdown, and he had vowed not to suffer through another one.

“I remember what happened last time,” he said. “I just have to get out of here.”

Cities in India are once again locking down to fight Covid-19 — and workers are once again pouring out and heading back home to rural areas, which health experts fear could accelerate the spread of the virus and devastate poorly equipped villages, as it did last time. Thousands are fleeing hot spots in cities as India hits another record, with more than 184,000 daily new infections reported on Wednesday. Bus stations are packed. Crowds are growing at railway stations.

And in at least some of their destinations, according to local officials and migrants who have already made the journey, they are arriving in places hardly ready to test arrivals and quarantine the sick.

one of the world’s toughest national lockdowns, eliminating millions of jobs virtually overnight. That lockdown fueled the most disruptive migration across the Indian subcontinent since it was split in two between India and Pakistan in 1947. Tens of millions of lowly paid migrant workers and their families fled cities by train, bus, cargo truck, bicycle, even by blistered feet to reach home villages hundreds of miles away, where the cost of living was cheaper and they could help and be helped by loved ones.

Hundreds died on the sweltering highways. Even more died back home. The migration also played a significant role in spreading the virus, as local officials in remote districts reported that they were swamped with the sick.

iron frames on which the bodies are placed have melted. In Chhattisgarh, a rural state in central India, morgues have overflowed with decomposing corpses.

With the virus closing in, many people have decided to flee.

“I didn’t want to get sick all alone,” said Ajay Kumar, a vendor of mobile phone covers, who left Bangalore this past weekend for a village in Jharkhand State. “In Bangalore, the cases are increasing. And my wife said, ‘Business is not so good. Why don’t you come back?’”

“At least we are together,” Mr. Kumar said.

The full scope of India’s ability to monitor the migration is not clear. But in some places, the sudden rush of migrants appears to be taking local officials by surprise. The lack of preparations seems to mirror the larger sense that this country, whether because of fatigue or familiarity, has been more nonchalant during this second wave than it was during the first one.

Covid-19 positivity rate recently hit 30 percent — are simply stepping off trains or buses and walking into their communities, said Nafees Ahmad Sheikh, a cafe worker who left Mumbai last week, and two other recent arrivals.

Mr. Sheikh left after rumors of an impending lockdown began spreading. He said that the train he took had been packed with migrant workers and with people traveling for a short festival period. Some migrant workers had locked themselves in the train’s bathroom to avoid paying for the tickets because they had run out of money.

“The rich can deal with another lockdown, but what will the poor do?” Mr. Sheikh said. He said he would rather die in his home village than in a city “that treats us like disposable items.”

Some officials said that migrants arriving at railway stations were subjected to temperature checks and that those who were symptomatic were sent for further testing or to quarantine centers. But one official said that few of the centers were actually functioning because many of the contractors who set them up last year still have not been paid and did not want to get involved again.

Chanchal Kumar, an official in the office of Bihar’s chief minister, said that infections “started increasing after workers started coming back.”

“Each passing day, we are trying to minimize the damage,” he said.

India’s central government is sending mixed messages. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has an enormous bully pulpit, last year asked Indians to stay indoors. The roads cleared and a stunning hush descended over the nation of 1.4 billion. When Mr. Modi asked people to stand on their porches and bang pots and pans in solidarity with health care workers, they did that as well.

So far, only about 8 percent have been vaccinated. Only this week did the government authorize the use of imported shots. Until then, the government had been relying on two domestically produced vaccines in rapidly dwindling supply.

Few of the migrants are talking about vaccines. They just want to get home.

At Mumbai’s central train station on Wednesday morning, Mr. Ansari waited anxiously for his train. This time, the city had not yet shut off public transportation.

Last time it did. Mr. Ansari said that he had run out of money and had been constantly beaten by the police when he ventured out to look for food. He went down to eating one small bowl of rice a day, he said, and feared that he would starve.

“I don’t even like talking about what happened last time,” he said. “Nobody cares about us, either here or there.”

Karan Deep Singh contributed reporting.

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Covid-19 Is Surging in India, but Vaccinations Are Slow

MUMBAI — India is racing to contain a second wave of the coronavirus, but its vaccination campaign is running into doubters like Akbar Mohamed Patel.

A resident of Mumbai’s densely populated slum area of Dharavi, Mr. Patel survived a severe bout of the coronavirus in May. The first wave prompted Mumbai officials to seal off his housing complex, confining thousands of people for nearly two months.

Still, the current campaign has been marred by a slow initial government rollout, as well as skepticism and apathy from people like Mr. Patel and his neighbors. “On social media we come to know this is all a big game to make money,” Mr. Patel said. Of the vaccine, he said, “many things have been hidden.”

The coronavirus, once seemingly in retreat, is again rippling across India. Confirmed infections have risen to about 31,600 daily from a low of about 9,800 in February. In a recent two-week period, deaths shot up 82 percent.

dramatic nationwide lockdown and resulting economic recession.

“I am very categorical that we should stop it, contain it, just here,” said Dr. Rahul Pandit, a critical care physician at a private hospital in Mumbai and a member of the Maharashtra Covid-19 task force.

India’s vaccination campaign could have global consequences.

nearly monthlong delay in delivery of five million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine being manufactured in India. The reasons for the delay are not clear, but the manufacturer, Serum Institute of India, has said shipments will depend in part on domestic Indian needs.

tens of millions of doses to other countries, even as it struggles to vaccinate its own people. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, the foreign minister, has said that the availability of vaccines in India will determine how many doses go overseas.

While vaccinations were initially available only in public hospitals, India is now giving jabs in private clinics and enormous makeshift vaccination centers, and it is considering making them available in pharmacies, too. Vaccination hours have been extended, and those eligible can register in person and receive a shot the same day, bypassing an online scheduling system.

The Indian government is playing catch-up. Since it launched a nationwide vaccination drive two months ago, uptake has been disappointing. Less than 3 percent of the population has received a jab, including about half of health care workers. At the current rate, it will take India about a decade to vaccinate 70 percent of its people, according to one estimate. By comparison, roughly a quarter of the population of the United States has had at least one jab.

Not everybody in India has the internet access needed to register for a shot online. But the campaign has also been plagued by public skepticism. The government approved a domestically developed vaccine, called Covaxin, before its safety and efficacy trials were even over, though preliminary findings since then have suggested it works.

The other jab available in India is the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which was suspended in some countries after a number of patients reported blood clots and strokes, though scientists haven’t found a link between the shots and the afflictions.

Some of the tepid response may come down to apathy. A nationwide study released in February found that one in five Indian people were likely to have already had Covid-19. Surveys in cities show even higher prevalence rates. The disease is just one among many that people in India worry about, joining tuberculosis, dengue fever and avian flu. Many people are struggling to recover from the huge financial hit of India’s lockdown last year and can’t afford to take time off work to stand in line for a shot.

“These are hand-to-mouth people. Bread, butter depends on their daily work. They can’t sit back and relax and wait for the wave to go,” said Kiran Dighavkar, the assistant commissioner of the Mumbai ward that includes Dharavi. “They can’t afford quarantine, so the only option is to vaccinate these people as early as possible.”

Health experts are prodding Mr. Modi to do more, including making the vaccine available to more people. Older adults, health-care and frontline workers and some people with medical conditions are currently eligible for shots.

“I would try to put the injection in the arm of every Indian that is 18 years and above, and I would do it now,” said Dr. N.K. Ganguly, the president of a medical research institute in New Delhi.

Persuading the 800,000 residents of Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum, to get vaccinated is seen as critical. Residents travel for work to every corner of the city of 20 million. Officials are reintroducing what earlier in the pandemic they called the Dharavi model: If the disease can be contained there, transmission can be curbed citywide and even further afield.

It won’t be easy, even though just three miles away, a jumbo vaccination center is administering about 15,000 shots a day, free of charge.

Day and night, Dharavi is teeming with life. People overflow from thin, corrugated metal houses, stacked on top of each other like matchboxes, onto crowded, mostly unpaved lanes strung with loose electrical wire. Animals skitter between parked motorcycles and piles of debris. Shops, tanneries and factories are squeezed next to houses of worship and community toilets.

“We have been OK all this while,” Abdul Razad Rakim, a 61-year-old diabetic, said from a foldout chair in front of the tiny apartment he shares with his wife, Shamim. “Why do we have to go?”

A short walk away, Janabai Shinde, a former janitor for the city health department, was squatting on her front step, rising every few minutes to spit red tobacco juice into a drain.

“I take walks in this lane. I sit here for fresh air. I have not stepped out much since the lockdown,” Ms. Shinde said. Her son, who works for the city, has already registered her for a turn at a vaccination center. She said she hoped her neighbors would join her.

“It’s for our good,” she said.

The Mumbai government has enlisted aid groups to set up help desks in Dharavi, where residents can ask questions and complete online registration to make an appointment for a free shot.

Plans are underway to set up a vaccination center within the confines of the slum, and to reopen an institutional quarantine center with thousands of beds, according to Mr. Dighavkar, the assistant commissioner.

Last week, as Maharashtra recorded its highest new case numbers since September, the chief executive of a disaster relief group delivered a pep talk at Gold Filled Heights, an apartment complex largely occupied by members of the Jain religious group, who run many of the jewelry businesses in Dharavi.

“We can’t let the virus spread again,” said the chief executive, Shantilal Muttha. “If it spreads in Dharavi, it becomes a threat for the entire Mumbai and Maharashtra.”

Jyoti Shelar contributed reporting.

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