The nationwide lockdown is onto its third extension as the National Disaster Management Agency announced that the measures need to be implemented for a further period of 14 days in the country to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The announcement came on a day when the Union Health Minsitry announced that death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 2,872 and the number of total positive cases climbed to 90,927.
The NDMA, in exercise of powers under Section 6 (2) (i) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, hereby directs the ministries and departments of the Government of India, state governments and state authorities to continue the lockdown measures up to May 31, NDMA member secretary G V V Sarma said.
The authority further directs the National Executive Committee, headed by the Union Home Secretary, to issue modifications in the guidelines as necessary, keeping in view the need to open up economic activities while containing the spread of COVID-19, the order said.
The Prime Minister Modi had earlier hinted at a fourth phase of lockdown that would be different from its predecessors. The details surrounding the lockdown are not yet known, and will be issued by the Home Ministry.
Ahead of the announcement, several states had extended the lockdown. Maharashtra, the state which has been worst affected by the virus was one of the first to extend the lockdown till May 31 for the red zones of the state. Tamil Nadu and Punjab too had extended the lockdown, although curfew restrictions will be eased in Punjab going forward. Telengana too had already extended it till May 31.