India’s nationwide coronavirus lockdown, the biggest in the world, will be extended until at least May 3, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said.
The current three-week-old lockdown of the nation of 1.3 billion people had been scheduled to end at midnight Tuesday.
Modi said some restrictions in areas further away from infection hotspots would be eased on April 20 to help poor people dependent upon daily wages.
Since the lockdown was enforced, only essential services have been operational. Those include water, electricity, health services, fire services, grocery stores and municipal services.
All regular shops, commercial establishments, factories, workshops, offices, markets and places of worship have been closed and interstate buses and metros have been suspended. Construction activity was also halted during this period.
“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,” he said.
“Until May 3, all of us will have to remain in lockdown. During this time, we have to follow the same discipline as we have been doing,” Modi said.
Following Modi’s address, India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation tweeted that all domestic and international scheduled flights will remain suspended until end of day on May 3. Similarly, India’s Ministry of Railways tweeted that all passenger train services will also remain suspended until then.