Government on Monday denied reports claiming that the 21-day nationwide lockdown over the Coronavirus pandemic will be extended, calling them “baseless”.

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba said he was ‘surprised’ at reports suggestive of an extension in the 21-day nationwide lockdown period. The top bureaucrat dismissed the speculation, saying that there were no such plans to do the same.

“There are rumours & media reports, claiming that the Government will extend the #Lockdown21 when it expires. The Cabinet Secretary has denied these reports, and stated that they are baseless, ” tweeted the Press Information Bureau, the government’s media body, with the hashtag #PIBFactCheck.

In a tweet, State-run broadcaster Prasar Bharati said they spoke with Cabinet Secretary who clarified that there is no plan of extending the lockdown.

As per the Government order, the lockdown ends on April 14.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 announced a complete lockdown of the entire country for 21 days in an unprecedented drastic measure to try halt the spread of Coronavirus shortly after which the Centre said all road, rail and air services will remain suspended during this period.

However, all essential services including ration shops (under PDS) dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal fodder will remain operational. Banks, insurance offices, and ATMs will also remain open during this time period.

The cases of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in India have surged to 1,071 with the number of deaths at 29, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The number of Coronavirus cases around the world crossed the 700,000 mark near midnight on Monday, while the death toll crossed the 33,500 mark, with Italy (10,779) and Spain (6,606) accounting for over half of them, according to the Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Centre.