The Nagaland government on Wednesday further extended the ongoing state-wide lockdown till June 30, a senior official said. The restrictions were scheduled to end on June 18.

“The high-powered committee on COVID-19 headed by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, in a meeting today, decided to extend the lockdown till June 30,” Government co-spokesperson and advisor Mmhonlumo Kikon told PTI.

Asked about the reason for the extension, he said, “The COVID situation in the state is improving but we are still not out of the woods. The positivity rate is declining but it needs to go down below five percent. Also, we need to inoculate more than 50 per cent of the population.”

This is the fourth extension of the lockdown in the state since May 14.

“We acknowledge the inconvenience faced by the people but given the circumstances, we have to continue with the lockdown for now,” Kikon said.

He said that district task forces on COVID-19 will work out relaxations or stricter restrictions as per the local situation.

During the start of the lockdown on May 14, Nagaland’s COVID-19 tally was 17,531. It soared to 23,854 till Tuesday.

However, the state has been recording more recoveries than fresh cases. The recovery rate among the coronavirus patients has improved from 71.98 per cent on May 17 to 82.81 per cent on Tuesday.

The caseload includes 19,753 cured people, while the number of active cases has come down to 2,972. Nagaland has so far registered 459 fatalities.