Amid speculation of an extended shutdown in the event of a further deterioration of the coronavirus situation, India’s Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba has clarified that there is no such plan. “I am surprised to see such reports. There is no such plan of extending the lockdown,” Mr Gauba said in New Delhi on March 30.
India entered Day 6 of a 21-day national lockdown even as the number of cases continued to swell. According to the health ministry, the detected cases rose to 1,071, with 27 deaths. Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said its laboratories conducted some 34,900 tests nationwide for coronavirus till March 29.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his weekly “Mann Ki Baat” radio broadcast sought “forgiveness” from people for the hardships, and said that it was necessary due to the life and death situation. He expressed hope of halting the pandemic and urged people to pray for the health workers who have been in the frontline in the fight, and those delivering essential services to the public.
The government last week allowed some more services and movement of goods during the lockdown to minimize the difficulties. It has also set up 11 committees to draw up a comprehensive plan to tackle the coronavirus crisis.
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