Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra could go for extended lockdown till end of May

The third phase of the 54-day lockdown is scheduled to end on May 17

lockdown-14-salil Representational image | Salil Bera

Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, two states with the highest confirmed coronavirus cases, could go for extended lockdowns lasting till the end of May. Maharashtra Industry Minister Subhash Desai told NDTV: "Looking at the way cases have been going up in big cities like Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Malegaon, Aurangabad, it seems the lockdown may be extended. It will have to be done because of the situation. The government focus is on the health of the people. The first focus is that. Then of course there is industry and economy."

At the same time, Times of India reported that the Tamil Nadu government-appointed health expert team recommended to CM Edappadi K. Palaniswami that a phased easing of the lockdown is better, with testing ramped up, and restrictions on public transport, gyms, malls and theatres.

So far, the highest number of confirmed cases in the country are from Maharashtra at 27,524, followed by Tamil Nadu at 9,674, Gujarat at 9,591, Delhi at 8,470 Rajasthan at 4,534, Madhya Pradesh at 4,426 and Uttar Pradesh at 3,902.

Of the total 2,649 COVID-19 fatalities, Maharashtra tops tally with 1,019 deaths, Gujarat comes second with 586 deaths, followed by Madhya Pradesh at 237, West Bengal at 215, Rajasthan at 125, Delhi at 115, Uttar Pradesh at 88, Tamil Nadu at 66 and Andhra Pradesh at 48. The death toll reached 35 in Karnataka, 34 Telangana and 32 in Punjab.

Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir have reported 11 fatalities each due to the disease while Bihar has registered seven and Kerala has reported four deaths. Jharkhand, Chandigarh and Odisha have recorded three COVID-19 fatalities each while Himachal Pradesh and Assam have reported two deaths each. Meghalaya, Uttarakhand and Puducherry have reported one fatality each, according to the ministry data.

In a televised address to the nation, Modi also said there will be a fourth phase of the lockdown which will be very different from the earlier three phases. The third phase of the 54-day lockdown is scheduled to end on May 17.