The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation on Thursday announced that all metro services in the national Capital will be closed till April 14, in light of the 21-day countrywide lockdown imposed by the Centre to stop the spread of the coronavirus infection.

“We have received a few queries regarding the tenure of the closure of the Metro services,” the authority said in a public service announcement. “It is hereby informed that, in light of the lockdown issued by the government, Metro services will remain closed till 14 April 2020.”

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day lockdown across the country, saying it was the only way to break the chain of infection. The lockdown will be in effect till April 14. However, the home ministry has assured the public that essential services such as grocery shops, dairies and milk booths, hospitals, nursing homes, police, fire stations and ATMs will continue to work throughout the period.

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Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal addressed a press conference on the situation in the Capital and said the government was working hard to ensure essential services reach people. “All essential services shops can remain open 24 hours so that there is no rush of people,” Baijal announced. He reiterated that online service providers, e-retailers delivering essential services and goods will be allowed to operate.

Kejriwal said the police was also working to ensure that essential services shops and factories are open and working in all areas.

The toll in the coronavirus epidemic in India rose to 13 on Thursday, and the total number of infections increased to 649, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Of these, 593 patients are still undergoing treatment. Local health officials have announced two more deaths – one each in Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir – but the Centre has not yet confirmed them.