- Lockdown will now continue till April 30 in Tamil Nadu
- India will have had 8.2 lakh cases by April 15 without lockdown
- Complete lockdown declared by PM last month to contain COVID-19
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami has ordered the extension of the complete lockdown - enforced by the centre last month to check the spread of the coronavirus pandemic - by two weeks. The lockdown will now continue till April 30, he said, adding the move was in accordance with the recommendations made by public health experts.
Tamil Nadu is the sixth state to announce the extension of the lockdown. Earlier, Maharashtra, Punjab, Odisha, West Bengal and Telangana had extended the lockdown till April 30.
Referring to the meeting of the chief ministers of 13 states with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on coronavirus, Mr Palaniswami said leaders of several other states have also favoured extending the lockdown, news agency PTI reported.
PM Modi, who held a four-hour meet on Saturday, indicated that the lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic would be extended by two weeks after considering the requests of the chief ministers, who preferred a longer containment period.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also stressed the need to protect both lives and the economy.
"In my first address I had said, 'Jaan hai to jahaan hai (If there is life, the world will exist)'. We must now look at Jaan bhi, jahaan bhi (life and the world)," he had said.
The lockdown was announced by PM Modi on March 24 for three weeks to break the chain of infections.
The centre says it was a success, and that the number of coronavirus in India could have been manifolds if the lockdown was not put in place.
"According to a statistical analysis by us, India would have registered a 41 per cent cumulative rise in the number of cases, taking the total to 2.08 lakh on April 11 and 8.2 lakh by April 15 had there been no lockdown or other containment measures," said Lav Agarwal, one of the most senior officials in the Union Health Ministry, in his daily briefing last week.
PM Modi will address the nation tomorrow at 10 am on the coronavirus lockdown.