India Lockdown Extended Until May by Narendra Modi As More Than 10,000 Coronavirus Cases Confirmed

India's coronavirus lockdown, which its population of 1.3 billion has followed for the past three weeks, will be extended through May 3, the country's Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Tuesday.

The lockdown was originally scheduled to end on Tuesday at midnight, but Modi said in a televised address: "Until May 3, every Indian will have to stay in lockdown. I request all Indians that we stop the coronavirus from spreading to other areas."

"The nation has benefited greatly from social distancing and lockdown. If we only look at it from the economic standpoint it looks expensive—we've had to pay a huge cost, but before the lives of Indians this has no comparison," he said, noting the challenge of stopping the virus from spreading to new parts of the country.

The prime minister noted some restrictions may potentially be eased next week in the least-affected areas of the country to allow essential activities to resume.

India has seen at least 10,453 confirmed cases, including 358 deaths, as of Tuesday, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

While the country appears to have avoided the large scale explosion of cases that other parts of Asia, Europe and the U.S. have seen, health experts fear the actual count may be higher than the reported figure due to a lack of testing.

The outbreak has devastated the Indian economy, which sat at its highest level of unemployment for decades even before the outbreak. The lockdown saw millions lose their jobs and hundreds of thousands travel for miles, often on foot, to their home villages.

Coronavirus in India, Chennai on April 7, 2020
Volunteers throw a mixture of water, neem herb and turmeric as an alleged natural disinfectant on a street in a residential area of Chennai on April 7, 2020 during a nationwide lockdown following the COVID-19 virus outbreak. Getty Images

Some people have died en route to their villages, while others have been stranded elsewhere in cramped, unsanitary conditions where the virus could spread quickly.

The commerce ministry has reportedly urged the government to consider easing other restrictions "with reasonable safeguards" to allow more businesses to resume operations.

The COVID-19 virus, which was first detected in Wuhan, China, has infected more than 1.9 million people across at least 185 countries and regions. Over 453,200 have recovered from infection, while nearly 120,000 have died globally.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the spread of COVID-19 across the globe.

This infographic shows the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases around the world as of April 9. Statista

Data on COVID-19 cases is from Johns Hopkins University unless otherwise stated.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
  • Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.