New Delhi, May 17, 2020: The world’s largest lockdown in India has been extended for 14 days. This will be the fourth phase of lockdown, which starts tomorrow, Monday,18 May and ends on 31 May. Sunday (today) is the last day of the third phase of the lockdown. About six hours before its end, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) instructed the central government and the states to continue the lockdown.
Now the guidelines are awaited. Tonight at 9 pm, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gaba will hold video conferencing with the Chief Secretaries of the states. Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Punjab and Mizoram have already announced to extend the lockdown till 31st May.
With the lockdown increasing till 31st May, a population of 1.25 billion will now remain in restrictions for 68 consecutive days. This is the biggest lockdown in any country of the world with such a large population lasting so long. Even before this decision on Sunday evening, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Punjab and Mizoram had announced to increase the lockdown till 31st May.
The lockdown was declared in three phases in the country from 25 March to 14 April, 15 April to 3 May and 4 May to 17 May. First Phase: From 25 March to 14 April, it lasted for 21 days. During this period only the shops of essential goods were allowed to open. Second phase: April 15 to May 3, it lasted for 19 days. Permission was granted to open shops in Orange and Green zones except for Hotspot (Red Zone).
Third Phase: May 4 to May 17, it was for 12 days. Permission was granted to open shops in Orange and Green zones except for Hotspot (Red Zone). In addition, trains and buses were started for migrant labourers. Special trains also started from New Delhi. The return of stranded Indians to other countries began through the Vande India and Samudra Setu Mission.