Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday said that the state has written to the Centre asking it to extend the nationwide lockdown by two more weeks from May 18, according to PTI.

The lockdown was first imposed from March 25 to April 14 to curb the spread of coronavirus cases. It was then extended twice – first till May 3 and now till May 17. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has indicated that the lockdown will be extended, the Centre is yet to announce it officially. The Centre had earlier this week asked states for their feedback about the extension of the lockdown by Friday.

Sonowal said his government has conveyed its stand to the Centre and the relaxations it wants in the fourth phase. The chief minister said that the government of India will take a decision. “I don’t want to say much about this now,” he added. “All the states have written to the Centre, which will take a decision on the extension.”

While Covid-19 cases have steadily increased in most of India, the situation in the northeastern states was mostly under control. But Assam has now recorded a total of 87 cases and two deaths, according to the Union ministry’s figures. Guwahati was declared a containment zone after 22 cases were detected within 24 hours earlier this week.

Meanwhile, more than 11,000 people have returned to Assam since the inter-state movement of vehicles began. Of these, 18 people have tested positive for coronavirus. Over 500 people reached various locations in Assam on Wednesday and Thursday after the first train brought back residents from Delhi.

On Thursday, the state also released new guidelines for those returning by trains from other parts of the country. Officials have been asked to follow the rules of transportation, screening, testing and quarantine.

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