India's top carmaker extends plant shutdown due to pandemic

India's top carmaker extends plant shutdown due to pandemic
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MUMBAI (May 9): India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd will keep its factories shut for another week citing the coronavirus pandemic.

The New Delhi-based company will extend its maintenance shutdown to May 16 from May 9 "keeping in view the current pandemic situation", Maruti said in an exchange filing on Saturday. Some activities will continue in the plants, the automaker said.

The prolonged shutdown comes just days after Chairman RC Bhargava said in an interview to Bloomberg News that Maruti might halve its production capacity as the pandemic shuttered some of its sales outlets in the country. The company had earlier advanced its planned June maintenance shutdown to May 9 to help divert oxygen to hospitals.

Large parts of the country are under lockdown after local governments initiated measures to curb the spread of infection and ease pressure on hospitals.

India reported more than 4,000 Covid-19 deaths for a second day, as the nation battled the world's worst outbreak of the virus. The country on Sunday recorded 4,092 fatalities and found 403,736 new cases, with the capital New Delhi and other big cities continuing to report surging infections.