Madhya Pradesh will extend the coronavirus lockdown to June 15, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said Saturday evening, a day before the fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown ordered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March comes to an end. The state became the first to extend the lockdown ahead of the deadline set by the centre.
Speaking to students from ten districts via a video conference, the Chief Minister also said schools could re-open after June 13.
"Schools (may) reopen after June 13. But the final decision on this would be taken after some days because we are going to extend lockdown till June 15 (because) we also have to deal with coronavirus," Chief Minister Chouhan said.
Minutes after the Chief Minister's announcement, the Union Home Ministry issued a notification extending the nationwide lockdown to June 30, with an order to "re-open prohibited activities in a phased manner in areas outside containment zones".
In its order the centre said schools, colleges and other educational institutions could open in July after an assessment of the coronavirus outbreak at the time and consultations with state/union territory governments, parents and other stakeholders.
India has seen a worrying surge in COVID-19 cases since May 21, with over 6,000 cases reported each day; over 7,000 have been reported in each of the last two days alone.
Madhya Pradesh has reported nearly 7,500 cases and 334 deaths so far.
Overall there are 1.74 lakh cases in the country with 4,971 deaths linked to the virus, Union Health Ministry data showed Saturday morning.
With input from PTI