No plan to extend 21-day lockdown: Govt

PTI

File photo:  Deserted railway station during Janta Curfew

File photo: Deserted railway station during Janta Curfew

The government on Monday said that there was no immediate plan to extend the 21-day lockdown amid fears that shutdown of businesses across the country to counter the spread of coronavirus may trigger severe economic and social distress.

The clarification by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba came after hundreds of thousands of migrant labourers undertook long journeys from major urban centres on foot to their homes in the last five days, reflecting their struggle for survival due to job losses following the lockdown.

The central government has already directed states to make arrangements for shelter and food for the migrant workers.

In a tweet, the government’s Press Information Bureau said: “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.”

A Group of Minister (GoM) headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday carried out a comprehensive review of the situation arising out of the lockdown, including movement of the migrant labourers.

There has been fears that the lockdown may spark severe economic and social distress.

According to the latest officials figures, a total of 1071 people have been infected by the virus and the death toll is 29.

(PTI)