The government on Monday stated that there was no plan to extend the 21-day lockdown amid fears that the shutdown across the country to counter the spread of coronavirus might trigger severe economic and social distress. Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba’s clarification came after thousands of migrant laborers undertook long journeys from urban centres to their homes on foot in the last 5 days.
Meanwhile, the state governments have been asked to make arrangements for shelter and food for the migrant workers. In a tweet, the government’s Press Information Bureau stated that “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.”
Earlier on Sunday, a Group of Minister (GoM) headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the current situation amid coronavirus lockdown, including the movement of migrant labourers. There were fears that the lockdown, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, may spark severe economic and social distress.
Likewise, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, in a letter to PM Narendra Modi, stated that the sudden lockdown had created panic and confusion. Therefore, he called for steps other than a lockdown announced by some developed nations to combat the novel coronavirus.
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The coronavirus has been declared as a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) earlier this month. According to the latest figures of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, a total of 1,071 people have been diagnosed with the virus and the death toll is 29.