NEW DELHI: On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended a nationwide lockout until May 3, as the number of cases of coronavirus exceeded 10,000.
Modi, in a speech on the world’s biggest shutdown on national television, said the challenge was to stop the virus from spreading into new parts of the country.
“Till May 3, every Indian will have to stay in lockdown. I request all Indians that we stop the coronavirus from spreading to other areas,” he said.
Modi spoke because, according to government data on Tuesday, the number of people infected with coronavirus exceeded 10,363, of whom 339 died.
The disease has so far left South Asian nations largely unscathed. But with some of the planet’s most populated cities, there’s concerns that numbers could surge and overwhelm weak healthcare systems.
However, some experts have said that India has not carried out enough studies and that the true number of infections is much greater.
Many states like Maharashtra — home to Mumbai and with the highest number of cases — Tamil Nadu and Odisha have declared extensions to the lockdown.