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No plan to extend 21-day lockdown, says government

The 21-day lockdown came into effect on March 25 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation where he stressed on the need to break the chain of infection.

Updated: Mar 30, 2020 15:59 IST

By Neeraj Chauhan, Hindustan Times New Delhi

NDRF personnel offers hand sanitizer to migrant workers assembled outside Anand Vihar Bus Terminus on Day 5 of the 21-day nationwide lockdown imposed by PM Narendra Modi to curb the spread of coronavirus, in New Delhi, India, on Sunday, March 29, 2020. (Amal KS/HT PHOTO)

The government has said that reports claiming that the 21-day lockdown period will be extended are “baseless”. The lockdown was imposed to check the spread of coronavirus disease Covid-19.

“There are rumours and media reports, claiming that the government will extend the lockdown when it expires. The Cabinet Secretary has denied these reports, and stated that they are baseless,” the Press Information Bureau (PIB) said on Twitter on Monday. 

“I am surprised to see such reports, there is no such plan of extending the lockdown,” Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba told a news agency.

The lockdown came into effect on Wednesday (March 25) after Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation. In his address a day before, PM Modi had said that the step is being taken to break the chain of infection and control the spread of coronavirus disease Covid-19.

He also urged people to avoid travel and stay wherever they are.

More on Covid-19:

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In his first address, on March 19, the Prime Minister had alerted the country to the dangers of the pandemic and called for a Janta Curfew for a day on March 22.

The lockdown, acknowledged by experts as a necessary preventive measure, has disrupted economic activity and caused an exodus of migrant workers from cities towards their villages, often on foot - in the process enhancing the risks of spreading the disease.

PM Modi again spoke to the countrymen on Sunday, this time through ‘Mann ki Baat’, his monthly radio address, where he apologised to citizens, especially the poor, for harsh decisions that have caused difficulties.

But the PM added that he was confident he would be forgiven because there was no other way for a country of India’s size to battle the pandemic, which had, in a way, chained the entire world. He underlined that it was important to battle an illness at a nascent stage, for if it escalated, defeating it would become far more difficult.

The total number of Covid-19 cases crossed 1000 on Sunday.


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