'No Cases in 400 Districts': NITI Aayog VC Shares Ray of Hope as Mumbai Becomes Covid-19 Epicentre

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New Delhi: As India races to contain spread of coronavirus, the Centre may extend lockdown in 62 districts that account for 80% of total infected cases.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18, NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar said that some states have recommended the extension of lockdown but a "sound strategy will be evolved by the end of this week".

While Mumbai has become India's coronavirus epicentre, Kumar pointed that there were also 400 districts that have recorded no incidence of covid-19.

He further said that the central government is in the midst of discussion with the state authorities over lockdown exit as it is set to end April 14.

"Exit strategy will have to be largely designed and implemented by state governments. The district administrations have to be the focus of the plan. Convergence between Centre and states is the key in controlling the deadly virus," Kumar said, adding that the authorities have to get the "balance between lives and livelihood".

Meanwhile, news agency Reuters quoted three senior officials as saying that Mumbai is set to extend lockdown measures until at least April 30 as the metropolis and its suburbs have reported 782 positive cases and 50 deaths.

"In Mumbai cases are rising too fast. In just 24 hours 100 cases were reported on Tuesday," said a senior state government official, adding that the trend was alarming and an extension of the lockdown for at least another two weeks was necessary to stop the virus from spreading in one of the world's most densely populated cities.