Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday appreciated the discipline showed by the people of the country in making the 21-day lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus a success as he announced its extension.

“In my discussions with the state governments, and various stakeholders, one thing was unanimous: That we should extend the lockdown. So, I announce today that the lockdown will be extended till May 3,” PM Modi said.

He also asked people to be alert and prevent the spread of the disease. “We will impose more stringent measures in the next week. Till April 20, we will evaluate how different states are dealing with the pandemic. States which will not let hotspots increase, they could be allowed to let some important activities resume, but with certain conditions,” PM Modi said.

“The fight is moving ahead with strength. I know the hardships you faced, you are fulfilling your duties and I respectfully bow to the people of India for their sacrifice,” the PM said in his address

“People have saved the country while facing difficulties,” he added.

He also invoked Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar on his birth anniversary. “Our constitution talks about ‘We the People’. The spirit was displayed during this period,” said PM Modi.

It was PM Modi’s third televised address to the nation in less than a month. On March 19, Modi said he would seek the “coming few weeks” of Indian citizens, asked them to stay determined and patient in the fight against the global pandemic, senior citizens to remain indoors and called for a “people’s curfew” on March 22 to demonstrate their unity and resolve.

He then announced a three-week nationwide lockdown that halted commercial flights and train journeys,taken public transport off the streets, closed schools and colleges and shut industrial production.