Coronavirus lockdown extended till 3 May; Modi urges people to look after senior citizens, poor, asks businesses to not downsize staff

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the extension of the nationwide lockdown till 3 May in his address to the nation on the last day of the 21-day lockdown that was announced on 25 March to stem the spread of coronavirus

FP Staff April 14, 2020 11:39:26 IST
Coronavirus lockdown extended till 3 May; Modi urges people to look after senior citizens, poor, asks businesses to not downsize staff

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the extension of the nationwide lockdown till 3 May in his address to the nation on the last day of the 21-day lockdown that was announced on 25 March to stem the spread of coronavirus.

The prime minister said that India will combat COVID-19 more stringently in the coming week. However, some relaxation and resumption of certain important activities may be allowed after 20 April in places where there are no hotspots. Modi also said that the government will come out with extensive guidelines on Wednesday. He also assured that there is an adequate stock of medicines and ration.

Coronavirus lockdown extended till 3 May Modi urges people to look after senior citizens poor asks businesses to not downsize staff

Narendra Modi during the national address on Tuesday.

Modi further urged people to follow seven steps during the lockdown, including taking special care of senior citizens in the households, following lockdown restrictions and using face masks, helping the poor and giving due respect and credit to coronavirus “soldiers”, including doctors, nurses and sanitation workers. He also asked the business houses to help the workers and refrain from downsizing staff, apart from asking people to increase their immunity by referring to advice on the Ayush ministry website and download the Aarogya Setu mobile application.

Lauding the country’s collective strength on BR Ambedkar’s birth anniversary, Modi said that the fight against the deadly virus is “going on very strongly”, with people saving the country despite facing difficulties. “As compared to many developed nations, India is in a much better position due to its holistic approach and quick decisions. When India had 550 coronavirus cases, we went for a 21-day lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus,” he said.

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While talking of the major benefits resulting from the social distancing and lockdown, Modi said, “India may have paid a big economic price, but there can be no alternative to saving human lives.”

The prime minister had held consultations with the chief ministers of all the states through video-conferencing on Saturday, during which talks were held over the need for extending the lockdown amid the rising number of coronavirus cases.

Odisha, Punjab, Maharashtra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry had already announced the extension of lockdown. The number of coronavirus positive cases in India has climbed to 10,363 including 8,988 active cases, 1,035 cured/discharged/migrated and 339 deaths.

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