The Central Government is all set to extend the lockdown by two more weeks beyond its April 14 deadline. Although the government is likely to allow certain relaxations to tackle the lockdown-induced economic crisis in the country. The decision came immediately after Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded his videoconference on the coronavirus pandemic, with chief ministers of all the states and Union Territories (UTs) today. According to the sources, most of the chief ministers were in favour of extending the lockdown, in the wake of the escalating crisis.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal commended the move by stating that the prime minister has taken the right decision as it was important. “PM has taken the correct decision to extend the lockdown. Today, India’s position is better than in 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,” he tweeted. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel requested the prime minister to grant permission to carry out economic activities within the states and continue the ban on inter-state road, air and rail facilities.
Almost all of the chief ministers including Punjab’s Amarinder Singh and Uddhav Thackeray from Maharashtra, the state which also happens to be the worst-hit by Covid-19 pandemic, recommended Modi to extend the lockdown keeping in view the increasing positive cases and fatalities in the country.
The prime minister has also equated the situation to a socio-economic emergency in the country. In an earlier meeting with the floor leaders of all political parties in the Parliament, PM Modi had said that experts, states and district administrators have suggested the extension of nationwide curtailment on the movement of citizens from the original April 14 deadline to April 30. However, an official announcement is yet to be made in this regard.