India will extend its 21-day nationwide lockdown until April 30 to allow authorities and health workers more time to control the growing spread of coronavirus infections.
Delhi’s chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Twitter Prime Minister Narendra Modi — who was meeting with state leaders via video conference on Saturday — made the right decision to extend the lockdown, which had been due to end on April 14. There has been no formal announcement on the extension from the government.
India’s three-week lockdown began on March 25. Modi has described the pandemic as a “social emergency” as infections continue to surge. Cases on Saturday sat at about 8,500 with 288 deaths, according to data collected by the Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University.
Some Indian states have already either extended the lockdown or marked out hundreds of high-risk zones where even tighter curbs have been put in place.
Authorities have sealed settlements, lanes and apartment complexes in the financial capital of Mumbai, as well as in Delhi and the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh, allowing in only medical services, surveillance workers and those delivering food and other essential items. Officials have said the pandemic is now largely concentrated in 78 districts across the nation.
India’s government has been in talks with independent health experts and state governments on when and how to remove lockdown. Modi told political leaders on Wednesday that state and district administrations as well as experts have suggested the lock down be extended, according to a government statement.
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