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Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended nationwide lockdown in India till May 3

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New Delhi. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended the country’s nationwide lockdown until May 3 in a bid to contain the continued spread of the coronvirus, but said that some states which have avoided outbreaks may be allowed to resume “important activities.”

Speaking in a televised address on Tuesday, Modi said it was vital that the virus is prevented from impacting parts of the country that remain unaffected.

“My request to all my countrymen is that coronavirus will not be allowed to spread across new areas at any cost,” said Modi, who wore a scarf covering his mouth and nose which he removed before speaking. “We have to be very careful about hotspots. We will have to keep a close watch on the places that are expected to become hotspots.”

The “complete” 21-day lockdown for India’s 1.3 billion people came into force at the end of the day on March 24 and was set to expire on Tuesday, April 14.

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.

“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.

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