Amid rumours that the coronavirus lockdown will be extended beyond 10 days, the Centre reiterated that there were no plans to extend it. “I am surprised to see such reports. There is no such plan of extending the lockdown,” said cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba, reported sources.
“There are rumours and media reports, claiming that the government will extend the #Lockdown21 when it expires. The cabinet secretary has denied these reports, and stated that they are baseless,” said the Press Information Bureau, the government’s media body.
The 21-day nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has earned approval of most political parties in India. The nationwide tally of confirmed coronavirus cases crossed the 1,000-mark and the death toll reached 27 on Sunday, even as the central government ordered sealing of all state and district borders to check community transmission of the deadly virus by migrant workers and asked those having left already to be quarantined for 14 days.
The national capital alone reported 23 fresh positive cases, taking its count to 72, while more people tested positive in adjoining Noida as also in Maharashtra and Bihar, among other states. The new cases included a SpiceJet pilot with no history of international travel.
Charitable organisations, volunteers, religious institutions and government bodies including the Railway Protection Force have fed tens of thousands of people across the nation but many more remained outside the safety net.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio broadcast, sought the nation’s forgiveness for the hardships caused by the stringent nationwide lockdown, saying it was necessary because the country was fighting a battle between life and death.
He, however, expressed confidence that “we will definitely win the battle” against the coronavirus menace and praised the front-line workers in this fight against as well as countless workers delivering the essential services.