Cabinet Secretary dismisses media reports that lockdown will be extended

Cabinet Secretary says no plan to extend lockdown, dismisses media reports

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Monday dismissed news reports that the current 21-day lockdown will be further extended to contain the spread of COVID-19. (File photo)

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Monday dismissed news reports that the current 21-day lockdown will be further extended to contain the spread of COVID-19.

In a tweet, the Press Information Bureau said: "There are rumours and 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."

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"PBNS got in touch with the Cabinet Secretary on this news article.The Cabinet Secretary expressed surprise & said that there is no such plan of extending the lockdown," the state-run organisation said in a tweet.

The last couple of days has seen a large migrant exodus from several states despite restrictions on movement of vehicles and people. With public transport including buses and trains shutdown, caravans of migrants were seen travelling by foot on state highways.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologised for imposing "harsh steps" but said it would be difficult to contain the virus from spreading if the lockdown is violated.

Addressing the nation on his monthly radio programme Mann ki Baat, PM Modi said: “I understand that no one wants to break the rules deliberately, but there are some people who are doing so. To them, I will say that if they don’t follow this lockdown, it will be difficult to protect ourselves from the danger of coronavirus.”

The same day the Centre asked states to ensure that there is no movement of people across cities. It also announced that the migrants who travelled to their home towns during the lockdown would be put under mandatory 14-day quarantine.