Prime Minister Narendra Modi after four-hour meeting with at least 13 chief minister’s on a video conference on April 11, indicates that the lockdown will be extended to next two weeks considering the request of CM’s for long term containment. The lockdown was scheduled to end on April 14.
PM Modi also mentioned about the new strategy in tackling the pandemic, from saving lives to saving both life and economy. While announcing the lockdown on March 24, PM Modi had said, “Jaan hai toh jahaan hai (the world exists if life exists).” However, it seems that he has a different approach now as stressed on “Jaan bhi jahaan bhi (life and economy)” in the meeting, because the lockdown has put severe stress on businesses.
After the meeting, CM Arvind Kejriwal tweeted: “PM has taken 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 imp to extend it.”
The CM’s who attended the meeting pointed out that if the lockdown is removed sooner, they may not have enough resource to deal with the spurt in COVID-19 cases.
PM Modi is likely to address the nation again tomorrow to officially announce the extension of lockdown. In the meeting, he also stated that he will allow industries to reopen in a graded manner. Other restrictions are also likely to be alleviated in a graded manner and farmers are expected to get another economic package.
Odisha and Punjab had already extended the lockdown. As per the source, Bihar government in a letter to the Centre conveyed no objection in the extension of the lockdown; however, wants an exemption for the rural construction and flood relief work to continue. Bihar saw massive floods last year that affected 13 districts of North Bihar, causing 130 death, leaving the region with tremendous damages and rebuilding projects are still going on.
As per the meeting, India has extended its lockdown till the end of April, with restrictions being alleviated in a graded manner.