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India extends lockdown till May 3

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The 21-day nationwide lockdown that was supposed to end today (April 14) has been extended till May 3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation declared the extension and sought the support of citizens in India’s battle against the deadly virus.

He announced that the lockdown will be enforced more strongly during the next one week till April 20 and all areas will be scrutinised during this period to ascertain whether they are able to successfully combat the coronavirus pandemic or not. Areas that do not allow hotspots to grow and where the chances of it turning into a hotspot are less, some conditional relaxations will be allowed from April 20, he said, adding that curbs will be re-introduced the moment there is a violation of the conditions.

The Prime Minister also said India is at a much better position than several countries infected with the virus and that happened because of the holistic and integrated approach in the battle against COVID-19. He said the 21-day lockdown and the social distancing guidelines resulted in a huge economic impact for the country, but nothing is more important than saving lives.

He also enumerated that when India did not have a single case of the virus, it started screening passengers coming from foreign countries affected by the virus. When the cases reached 100, the government made it mandatory for foreigners coming to India to go for a 14-day quarantine and when the cases reached 550, India took a tough decision to impose a 21-day lockdown.

He said as per the experience of various countries combating the COVID-19 crisis, 1,500 beds are required when the number of coronavirus cases touches 10,000. However, India has already managed 1 lakh beds so far and around 650 hospitals have been identified that would work only for the care and management of coronavirus cases in the country, PM Modi said.

The Prime Minister also sought the support of people on seven aspects that he said are crucial for the fight against the pandemic. He said people should take care of the elderly, follow the lockdown guidelines and stay at home, use masks, follow the guidelines of the Ayush Ministry for increasing immunity, download ‘Arogya Setu’ app and inspire others to do the same, help the poor, have compassion for employees and do not sack them during this challenging time, and respect and praise the work done by corona warriors such as doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, police, etc.

Meanwhile, the total number of coronavirus cases in the country has increased to 10,363 till 8 am on Tuesday and the death toll due to the deadly virus has increased to 339.

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