India Extends Coronavirus Lockdown to May 3

India has extended the nationwide lockdown on the country’s 1.3 billion citizens to May 3 in a bid to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Tuesday.
The initial 21-day lockdown had been slated to end on Tuesday.
Mr. Modi acknowledged the difficulties people are facing during the lockdown and said the government’s actions and citizens’ cooperation have kept India in a better position in the global fight against the disease.
“This is the power of ‘We, the People of India’ that our constitution talks about,” Mr. Modi said in a live broadcast of his message to the nation.
As of Tuesday morning, India had 8,988 active cases of the disease and 339 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Around 1,030 people had been cured or discharged, the ministry said.
In his morning address to the nation, Mr. Modi asked for the continued strict adherence to the lockdown until April 20. From then on, he said, the government might relax the lockdown for places reporting better management of the disease.
He said the provision of limited exemption in identified areas has been mulled keeping in mind the plights of those that get paid per day and to lessen inconveniences for the farmers.
Mr. Modi said the country has ample reserves of food and medicines, and supply chain hurdles are being smoothed. He said the government is also improving health infrastructure.
“From having only one testing lab for coronavirus in January, we now have more than 220 functional testing labs,” he said.