In his address to the Nation, the Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, on Tuesday extended the lockdown till May 3 and said any decision on easing restrictions in parts of the country would be taken after April 20, to keep in mind the difficulties of the poor.
'After taking into account all suggestions, we have decided to extend the lockdown till May 3,' Mr. Modi said in his 25-minute address. 'Till April 20, each district, each state will be monitored closely to see whether the lockdown is being followed. Then we can decide on relaxing the restrictions,' he said.
Some essential activities would be allowed in areas which showed improvement after April 20, he added. The total number of coronavirus cases in India has crossed the 10,000, with 339 deaths, according to the latest data from the Union Health Ministry.
India was in much better shape than many major countries in the fight against coronavirus, said the Prime Minister. "If the country had not taken a holistic, integrated approach and had not acted fast, then it is frightening to think what the situation would have been today," he said.
Asserting the need for a strict lockdown to ensure that COVID-19 did not spread to a single new area, Mr. Modi said citizens had persevered and confronted every difficulty to ensure that India was ahead in the fight against the virus. 'The power of 'We The People Of India' has been seen in the country during the lockdown.'