Amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, India had gone under a state of lockdown on March 25. Since then, the lockdown has been extended twice -- with the third phase ending on May 17.
While Prime Minister Modi had earlier hinted at a fourth phase of lockdown that would be different from its predecessors, it was officially confirmed on Sunday evening. The National Disaster Management Authority issued a formal order for extending the lockdown till May 31.
The details surrounding the lockdown are not yet known, and will be issued by the Home Ministry.
In an order issued on Sunday, the NDMA wrote, that "considering the fact that the lockdown measures need to be implemented for a further period in the country to contain the spread of COVID-19" the organisation was directing all Ministries, Departments of the Indian government as well as the various state governments and state authorities to continue the lockdown measures up to May 31.
Ahead of the announcement, several states had extended the lockdown. Maharashtra, the state which has been worst affected by the virus was one of the first to extend the lockdown till May 31 for the red zones of the state. Tamil Nadu and Punjab too had extended the lockdown, although curfew restrictions will be eased in Punjab going forward.
Earlier on Sunday, prior to the NDMA notice, the West Bengal government took to Twitter announcing that with no announcement having come yet from the centre, Bengal would continue "with same arrangements" until notified otherwise.
"We will notify our comprehensive plan tomorrow afternoon," the Home department had added.