LOCKDOWN.. PM likely to announce new lockdown schedule for nation; India toll remains low at 242

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to address the nation on Sunday, to announce an extension of the three-week lockdown period. It could be extended upto the end of April, but with some relaxations, as per hints emerging from government sources here. Meanwhile, the PMO has advised all senior government officials, using govt cars for transport, to report to work at their offices from Monday. They were sitting back at home ever since the lockdown began on March 25.

The prime minister held a video conference with chief ministers on Saturday, at which various states presented their assessment of the ground situation. The CMs also presented a set of proposals from each state, which will be studied by the PM and other central leaders before a final plan about continuation of the lockdown will be announced by the PM. 

Meanwhile, Coronavirus infections number was around 7,530 in India on Saturday, while the death toll stood at 242. Maharashtra remains as the worst-hit state, with some 7,5oo confirmed infections, and 110 deaths. Mumbai’s sprawling slum area, Dharavi, reported most of these cases. Tamil Nadu followed as second worst, with over 910 infections, and Delhi over 900 deaths.

Rajasthan and Telangana have over 5oo cases each, and Uttar Pradesh over 44o cases. Madhya Pradesh reported over 400 infections. Gujarat has 308 infections, Jammu and Kashmir over 2oo, Karnataka too over 200. West Bengal is going slow at less than 13o infections so far.

Around the world, the scenario worsened in the United states, where a startling 2,000 covid-linked deaths were reported in one day. Some five lakh people in  the US were infected with the virus as per records till Saturday. 

A total of 1,oo,8oo people died of covid so far across the world, while the number of those infected was put on Saturday at about 1.6million. Some 18,850 people have died of Covid in Italy.==IHN-NN

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