Aizawl | Jagran News Desk: In wake of the surging coronavirus cases in the country, the Mizoram government on Friday announced that it has decided to extend the lockdown in the state till May 31.

A state official said that the decision was taken after various political parties and several organisations, including those of NGOs, churches and doctors, favoured extension of the lockdown at a meeting on Thursday.

At a meeting of various task groups on COVID-19 presided over by Chief Secretary Lalnunmawi Chuango, it was decided that the lockdown will be extended beyond May 17, the official said while adding that new guidelines for extended lockdown too was discussed in the meeting.

A task group was formed to study about extending insurance cover to frontline workers such as police, village or local-level task force volunteers, government employees on special duty and those who pick garbage from quarantine facilities, the official said.

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Chief Minister Zoramthanga who presided over Thursday's meeting had said that extending the lockdown was crucial to ensure public safety, although the state has been declared green zone after its lone patient recovered on May 9.

The patient, who had a travel history to Netherlands, tested positive for COVID-19 on March 24.

Mizoram began testing of samples for COVID-19 at Zoram Medical College (ZMC) on April 7. Total 202 samples have been tested so far and all were found to be negative.

India had - beginning March 25 - imposed a three-week-long nationwide lockdown, the most far-reaching measure undertaken by any government to curb the spread of the pandemic.

The lockdown, which brought most of the economic activity to a standstill as factories and businesses shut while rendering thousands temporarily unemployed, has since been extended twice through May 17, with some relaxations to allow the resumption of economic activity.

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma