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14 Apr 2020 | 01:29 AM UTC

India: Nationwide lockdown extended until May 3 /update 21

Indian authorities extend nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19 until May 3; further spread of the virus expected over the near term

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Event

On Tuesday, April 14, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an extension of the nationwide lockdown until Sunday, May 3. The nationwide lockdown is designed to help curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.

Individuals in India will be banned from leaving their homes during the period of the lockdown. Only essential services will remain operational; all shops, offices, markets, and places of worship are closed, and interstate bus and train services are suspended. A ban on international commercial passenger flights is also ongoing. Cargo operations and flights with prior approval are exempt from the restrictions.

As of April 14, there have been more than 10,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in India, including 358 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the coming days and weeks.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.