Coronavirus Outbreak: Consensus among states to extend lockdown, says Narendra Modi during interaction with CMs, terms next 3-4 weeks critical
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said there seems to be a consensus among states on the extension of lockdown by another two weeks while emphasising that the next three-four weeks will be critical to determine impact of steps taken till now to curb spread of the novel coronavirus
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said there seems to be a consensus among states on the extension of lockdown by another two weeks while emphasising that the next three-four weeks will be critical to determine impact of steps taken till now to curb spread of the novel coronavirus.
Modi made the remarks while speaking with chief ministers of states via video conference on Saturday.
Though an official confirmation on extension of a nationwide lockdown is still awaited, and two states -- Odisha and Punjab -- have already extended restrictions, on Saturday Maharashtra announced that the restrictions on movement of people will remain in place till 30 April.
Maharashtra has been worst-hit by the novel coronavirus outbreak with its tally nearing 2,000 and 110 people reported to have died so far.
During his meeting with chief ministers of states, the prime minister also suggested specific measures for agriculture and allied sector including modification of APMC laws to facilitate sale of farm produce while assuring states that the country has adequate supplies of essential medicines, according to a statement by the Press Information Bureau.
The prime minister also gave a stern message against black marketing and hoarding, the statement added.
Talking about the exit plan, Modi also stressed on a new motto 'jaan bhi jahaan bhi (life also, the world also)' in what appears to be an indication of some relaxation in restrictions and a possibility of a wider economic stimulus package.
The motto also appears to be indicate the government's desire that economic activity also gathers some pace in a manner that the fight to contain the coronavirus is not affected.
"'When I had addressed the nation (on 24 march) I had said that to save life of every citizen, lockdown and social distancing are very important. Most of the people understood this and stayed at home," the Prime Minister said, adding that now the focus should shift to "Jaan bhi and Jahan bhi" - a future where people care about both the aspects, follow their duties and abide by the directions of the government - this will be important for India's prosperous and healthy future."
The prime minister also condemned attacks on health professionals and incidents of misbehavior with students from North-East and Kashmir during the meeting.
Meanwhile, the chief ministers indicated that the Central Government will announce new guidelines for the next 15 days soon.
"The prime minister told us that we must not compromise on lockdown and we are receiving suggestions for extending it for next 15 days. He said in next 1-2 days the Government of India will announce guidelines for next 15 days," Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa said after the meeting.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel suggested that permission should be given to carry out economic activities within the states and ban on the inter-state road, air and rail facilities should continue in view of COVID-19.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that a decision has been taken to extend the lockdown.
"PM has taken the correct decision to extend lockdown. Today, India's position is better than many developed countries because we started lockdown early. If it is stopped now, all gains would be lost. To consolidate, it is important to extend it," Kejriwal said in a tweet.
With inputs from ANI
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