The government is likely to extend the ongoing nationwide lockdown beyond April 14 to combat the coronavirus spread, leaders of political parties said on Wednesday after a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"It is likely that the government may extend the lockdown," Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury told PTI after the meeting.
Modi was interacting with floor leaders of opposition and other parties in Parliament to discuss the situation arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic and the government's efforts to contain the fast-spreading virus in the country.
The 21-day lockdown imposed by the Centre to contain the spread of coronavirus is coming to an end on April 14, giving rise to widespread speculation on whether the lockdown will be extended further.
Another participant in the meeting with the PM, Biju Janata Dal leader Pinaki Misra, said, "Prime Minister Modi made it clear that lockdown is not being lifted in one go on April 14 and also that the life pre-corona and post-corona will not be same."
A leader, who participated in the meeting but did not wish to be named, said the Prime Minister told them that he will also consult chief ministers regarding the extension of lockdown, PTI reported.
Those participated in the meet also included Ghulam Nabi Azad, leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha, and Nationalist Congress Party head Sharad Pawar.
"Govt's priority is to save each and every life," PM Narendra Modi was quoted as saying to political leaders during the interaction.
The death toll due to the novel coronavirus rose to 149 and the number of cases climbed to 5,194 in the country on Wednesday, according to the Union Health Ministry.