Premier Narendra Modi on Tuesday extended India’s coronavirus lockdown till May 3, but said he would consider relaxing restrictions in parts of the country after a week considering the hardships faced by the poor.
Modi announced the extension of the lockdown in a televised address to the nation.
“Taking into account suggestions from various Indian states as well as the public, it has been decided to extend the lockdown till May 3,” Modi said.
He stated that some essential activities will be allowed in areas that showed improvement after April 20.
He added that India’s fight against the virus would be intensified over the next week with strict monitoring of every district and even more stringent restrictions in designated areas or potential hotspots.
“Till April 20, each police station, each district, each state will be monitored closely to see whether the lockdown is being followed and if that area has saved itself from the virus.
“We can then decide on relaxing restrictions in those areas that are successful in this test, have successfully contained the hotspots and prevented new ones,” Modi said.
He said that the country had been successful in monitoring the spread of infections but the lockdown came at a huge economic cost.
According to him, detailed guidelines on India’s strategy will be released on Wednesday.
The Modi government announced a 21-day lockdown on March 24 to contain a possible surge of new coronavirus cases in the country of 1.3 billion people.
The total number of positive cases in India has surpassed 10,000, with 339 deaths, including 31 new deaths in the past 24 hours, according to federal health ministry.