As India entered into Day 6 of a 21-day lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus, the government dismissed reports that claimed that the lockdown will be extended. "There are rumours and media reports, claiming that the government will extend the lockdown when it expires. The Cabinet Secretary has denied these reports, and stated that they are baseless," the Press Information Bureau tweeted today.
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba said centre does not plan to extend the lockdown. "I am surprised to see such reports. There is no such plan of extending the lockdown," news agency ANI quoted Mr Gauba as saying.
Positive coronavirus cases rose above 1,000 in India as of Sunday evening, government data showed, while the death toll touched 27. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has conducted at least 34,931 tests for coronavirus confirmation till Sunday.
The Centre asked state governments and Union Territory administrations to effectively seal all state and district borders and said those having already left be quarantined for 14 days.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his 'Mann Ki Baat' radio broadcast on Sunday, sought the nation's forgiveness for the hardships caused by the stringent nationwide lockdown, saying it was necessary because the country was fighting a battle between life and death.
He, however, expressed confidence that "we will definitely win the battle" against the coronavirus menace and praised the front-line workers in this fight against as well as countless workers delivering the essential services.
The government announced some more exemptions to the lockdown by allowing movement of all goods, irrespective of those being in essential or non-essential categories.
The Narendra Modi administration on Sunday set up 11 empowered groups for quickly drawing up and executing a comprehensive plan to tackle the adverse impact of the coronavirus crisis.
(With Agency Inputs)