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India decides to extend nationwide coronavirus lockdown - state chief minister

Karan Kumar (2-L) a daily wage labourer, stands in a queue with others for free food at a construction site where activity has been halted due to 21-day nationwide lockdown to slow the spreading of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New Delhi, India, April 10, 2020. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to extend a nationwide lockdown to tackle the spread of the coronavirus, the Delhi state’s chief minister said on Saturday, without saying how long the extension would be for.

Modi earlier in the day held a video conference call with several state ministers. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Modi had “taken (a) correct decision to extend (the) lockdown”, without sharing further details.

“If it is stopped now, all gains would be lost. To consolidate, it is imp (important) to extend it,” Kejriwal said on Twitter.

India’s 21-day lockdown ends on Tuesday but several states had urged Modi to extend it further, even as concerns have risen that the shutdown has put millions of poor people out of work and forced an exodus of migrant workers from cities to villages.

Reporting by Aditya Kalra, Editing by William Maclean

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