Top government sources said that the central government of India is considering extending the 21-day lockdown beyond April 14. As per sources, several state governments as well as experts have requested to extend the lockdown as the number of affected is continuously increasing. India has recorded 4,400 coronavirus cases now, including 114 deaths.
On March 24, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the lockdown. Yesterday, he said that the countrymen should be prepared to fight against the highly contagious virus. All the top officials were urged by the PM at a cabinet meeting to come up with a “graded plan”.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said after the meeting, “We are monitoring the world situation every minute. A decision will be taken in the national interest. A decision in this regard will be declared at the right time.” He also added that an empowered group of officials was assessing the situation.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao said on Monday, “My personal opinion is that lockdown has to continue longer. We need to save lives, later we can save the economy.” His state is on the fourth highest number of COVID-19 cases.
“We have consulted within the state on what should be the mode of withdrawal of lockdown. We don’t want that everything should be opened on 15th April morning. We want it to be a systematic and scientific withdrawal of lockdown so that the benefits during the lockdown aren’t wasted in a single day,” said Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
On Monday, PM Modi said that the government must work on war-footing to lessen the impact of coronavirus and ministries should prepare a graded plan “to slowly open departments where there are no hotspots.”