Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a 21-day lockdown towards the end of March in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. That lockdown is in place till April 14, and speculation is rife that it may be extended.
Many states have requested that the lockdown be extended, and on Wednesday, the Punjab and Goa governments reportedly extended the lockdown until the end of April.
Prime Minister Modi too seems to be in agreement. According to reports, Modi told floor leaders of political parties that are represented in Parliament that it may not be possible to lift the lockdown by the 14th.
"I will discuss this with the Chief Minister of various states and other offcials, but based on the tune that is being heard right now, removing the lockdown will not be very simple," the Prime Minister can be heard saying.
Removing the pan-India lockdown at one go is not possible, Modi added.
"The situation in country has necessitated tough decisions and we must continue to remain vigilant. States, District administrations and experts have suggested extension of lockdown to contain spread of the virus," the PM said.
The meeting which was held through video conferencing was attended by members of parties that have five or more representatives in Parliament.
Calling the situation "akin to a social emergency", Modi said that the entire world is currently facing a grave challenge in the form of the novel coronavirus. With it being an epoch-changing event in history, he urged everyone to adapt and evolve to counter the virus.
India has so far recorded nearly 5,200 cases as per data provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday. 149 people who had earlier tested positive have since passed away. Globally, John Hopkins University's live tracker puts the total number of cases at over 1,441,000.