Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested today that the lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus will be extended and restrictions will not be lifted in one go after April 14, amid a spurt in COVID-19 infections in the country. In a video meeting with leaders of all parties, PM Modi reportedly said he would consult with Chief Ministers but by all accounts the lifting of the lockdown “is not possible”.
“The priority of the government is to save each and every life. The situation in the country is akin to a ‘social emergency’, it has necessitated tough decisions and we must continue to remain vigilant,” PM.
Life will not be the same again after COVID-19, the Prime Minister said, adding that there would be “pre-corona and post-corona” for times to come. The sweeping lockdown of 1.3 billion people to prevent an epidemic of COVID-19 ends on April 14 and PM Modi is due to take a decision this week on whether to extend it. Before a decision, he will hold a second meeting with Chief Ministers via video conference on Saturday. Many states and experts have requested an extension, given the rapid spread of virus cases and warnings that the infection could peak in the coming weeks. It is unlikely that rail travel, buses, metros and religious gatherings will be allowed anywhere in the country. The number of coronavirus cases in the country has climbed to 5,194, including 149 deaths.