New Delhi: With just a few hours left for the existing lockdown to end, the Centre o Sunday extended the lockdown till May 31.  An announcement to this effect was made by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). Also Read - 'Cases on Rise, But Delhi Under Control,' Says CM Kejriwal as COVID-19 Tally in Capital Crosses 13,000-mark

Issuing the order, the NDMA said that the strict lockdown measures will be implemented for a further period of 14 days in the country to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Also Read - India Records Over 6,000 COVID-19 Cases For 4th Consecutive Day, Total Tally Reaches 1,38, 845; Death Toll Crosses 4,000-mark

The development comes at a time when the death toll due to COVID-19 went up to 2,872 and the number of cases climbed to 90,927, surpassing the cases of China. Also Read - 'Finished Taking Hydroxychloroquine, Still Here,' Says Donald Trump Week After Revealing His COVID-19 Therapy

“The NDMA, in exercise of powers under Section 6 (2) (i) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, hereby directs the ministries and departments of the Government of India, state governments and state authorities to continue the lockdown measures up to May 31,” NDMA member secretary GVV Sarma said in the order.

After issuing the order, the NDMA further asked the National Executive Committee, headed by the Union Home Secretary, to issue modifications in the guidelines as necessary, keeping in view the need to open up economic activities while containing the spread of COVID-19.

After the outbreak of the coronavirus, the first nationwide lockdown was announced by PM Modi on March 24 for 21 days with effect from March 25. It was then extended till May 3 and again till May 17.

As per reports from media, domestic flights, metro services along with the rail services will remain suspended during the extended lockdown period.

In this regard, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued guidelines on measures to be taken by Ministries/Departments of Government of India, State Governments/UT Governments & State/UT authorities for containment of COVID19.

Issuing the guidelines, the MHA said that all cinema halls, shopping malls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places, shall continue to remain closed throughout the country till May 31.