Why the nationwide lockdown may not end on April 14

Tabhlighi Jamaat fiasco has made the situation much more complicated

bangalore-empty The Electronic City flyover in the technology hub of Bengaluru is seen deserted during the first day of the 21-day government-imposed nationwide lockdown | AFP

Even as the country is putting up a united fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic, reports suggest that the 21-day lockdown declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to contain the deadly virus is unlikely to end on April 14.

 Though the government had earlier asserted that it had no plans to extend the lockdown period, the fresh scenario emerged after the Tablighi Jamaat congregation fiasco had made the situation much more complicated.

 According to an IANS report, the government is unlikely to go for an abrupt withdrawal of the lockdown as such a move could undo all efforts made to contain the virus spread during the 21-day lockdown. The controversial event in Delhi has resulted in a steep rise in coronavirus infections as well as fatality tally as many of the attendees have travelled across the country.

Government sources told the news agency that the coming week will prove crucial on how successfully the contact tracing takes place across India and how well the ascending graph is arrested.

During his interaction with the chief ministers on Thursday, the prime minister is believed to have suggested the lifting of the lockdown in a phased manner to avoid chances of crowding.

Modi announced the lockdown on March 24, two days after the country observed a ‘Janta Curfew’.

Meanwhile, the government agencies have stepped up their efforts to trace the contacts of those attended the religious congregation at the Markaz in the Nizamuddin area.

The Railways is scrambling to provide information regarding thousands of passengers who travelled on five trains with people who participated in the event, many of whom have tested positive.