New Delhi: Amid reports that the Centre may lift the nationwide lockdown in a staggered manner after April 14, a group of ministers has pitched that all educational institutions should remain closed for a month, NDTV reported on Wednesday. Also Read - How Novel Coronavirus Affects Your Nervous System?

Further, the ministers were also of the opinion that religious centres–that see large gathering of people– should also be banned for a month now. The same extension was also demanded for the shopping malls. Also Read - Virus May be an Invisible Enemy, But Our COVID-19 Warriors Are Invincible: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the lockdown from March 24 till April 14. Also Read - Historic Decisions Expected in PM Modi's Cabinet Meeting: Report

Meanwhile, the Central government is mulling to extend the 21-day lockdown beyond April 14. In this regard, PM Modi had meeting with chief ministers of all states through video conferencing and had asked for their suggestions about the lockdown extension.

In response to PM Modi’s call, a number of states yesterday came up with suggestions to extend the lockdown, even as some states said that it is not yet time to withdraw it.

Further, several states have announced plans to ramp up their testing infrastructure and put in place strong ‘cluster containment’ plans in areas identified as hotspots of the outbreak.

Notably, death toll due to COVID-19 has rises to 149 while cases have climbed to 5,194, Health Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.