‘Baseless reports’: Cabinet Secretary Denies Any Plan to Extend 21-day Coronavirus Lockdown

The cases of novel Coronavirus in India have surged to 1,074 with the number of deaths at 29, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

New Delhi| The government on Monday said there was no plan to extend the 21-day coronavirus lockdown which came into force on Tuesday midnight.

The Press Information Bureau (PIB) of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting tweeted, saying Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba has denied media reports claiming that the government will extend the lockdown.

“There are rumours & media reports, claiming that the Government will extend the #Lockdown21 when it expires. The Cabinet Secretary has denied these reports, and stated that they are baseless,” it said.

The 21-day lockdown is aimed at checking the spread of the coronavirus.

Following the lockdown, there has been a massive exodus of migrant workers from big cities to their villages after being rendered jobless.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi last Tuesday ordered the three-week “total lockdown” to break the chain of transmission of the virus, which spreads rapidly. “Forget about stepping out of your homes,” he had said.

In the past week, keeping up the supply of essential goods and food, and controlling the massive flow of migrants heading home have been the biggest challenges in the fight against the disease. Large crowds at shops and borders have defeated the purpose of “social distancing” necessary to check the spread of coronavirus. The governments of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have been facing the worst of the migrant traffic.

Also Read: “Modi-Ji, Please…”: Indian’s in SOS Video From Quarantined Japan Ship

In India, there are more than 1,000 coronavirus cases now, including 27 deaths.

The lockdown prompted thousands of migrant workers to flock to bus terminals and state borders to reach their native villages in the absence of employment opportunities in the cities. Most of them set for the arduous journey on foot, with a Delhi restaurant worker on his way home in MP dying after walking over 200km.

The government’s clarification also comes ahead of the Supreme Court hearing a petition filed today on the exodus of migrant workers.

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