Brace for extended lockdown

Updated: Apr 08, 2020, 08:01 IST | Agencies | New Delhi

As cases as well as deaths due to the novel Coronavirus surge, the nationwide lockdown is expected to go beyond April 14, as the Centre is 'considering' the requests of several states and experts to extend the complete shutdown

Volunteers throw a mixture of water, neem and turmeric as an alleged natural disinfectant on a street in Chennai on Tuesday. Pic/AFP
Volunteers throw a mixture of water, neem and turmeric as an alleged natural disinfectant on a street in Chennai on Tuesday. Pic/AFP

The Centre is considering the requests of several states and experts to extend the nationwide lockdown beyond April 14 to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, government sources said on Tuesday. However, sources did not indicate if a final decision has been taken on the matter, and Joint Secretary in the Union health ministry Lav Aggarwal said, "no decision on extending lockdown as yet (taken), please don't speculate."

India has so far confirmed 4,789 ases of Coronavirus and reported 137 deaths. "A lot of state governments as well as experts are requesting the central government to extend the lockdown. The Centre is thinking in this direction," a source said, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked countrymen to be ready for a long battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several chief ministers have favoured the extension of the lockdown in the country to contain the fast-spreading virus. Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan said his government will extend lockdown if need arises, while his counterpart in Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot said the state cannot withdraw the lockdown immediately, and it has to be done in a phased manner. In a statement to mark two weeks of lockdown, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said the next one week of the lockdown is "critical" for evolving an exit strategy.

WhatsApp restrictions
WhatsApp will allow users to send frequently forwarded messages to only one chat at a time as part of efforts to curb spreading of misinformation amid the coronavirus pandemic. This limit will be in place once a message has been previously forwarded five times or more.

New cases/deaths

Andhra Pradesh: 1 die
Gujarat: 19 test positive
Karnataka: 12 test positive
Madhya Pradesh: 12 test positive
Himachal Pradesh: 4 test positive

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