The Central government is understood to have also obtained views on the issue from all the relevant agencies and stakeholders involved in the efforts to contain the spread of the pandemic.
“I am available 24×7. Any Chief Minister can speak to me and give suggestions (on COVID-19) anytime,” said PM Modi. He was accompanied by some senior officials, including from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
In his meeting with state CMs, PM Modi sought their views on various aspects, including whether more categories of people and services need to be exempted. The Prime Minister also obtained views on the issue from all the relevant agencies and stakeholders involved in the efforts to contain the spread of the dreadful infection.
According to reports, Delhi and Punjab chief ministers urged the prime minister to extend the lockdown by at least a fortnight after April 14. Also Coronavirus Outbreak: With highest spike of 1,035 cases in 24 hrs, tally reaches 7,447 in India with 239 deaths
“CM Captain Amarinder Singh, in PM’s video-conferencing with CMs, recommended extension of national lockdown by at least a fortnight in addition to special concessions for industry and agriculture sectors urgently. He also asked for faster supply of rapid testing kits,” Punjab Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said, as reported by news agency ANI. As of now, Punjab and Odisha are the only states in India which have announced extending the lockdown beyond April 14 when the current spell of 21-day shutdown ends on Tuesday.
This is for the second time the prime minister is interacting with the chief ministers via video link after the lockdown was imposed. During his April 2 interaction with chief ministers, Modi had pitched for a “staggered” exit from the ongoing lockdown. According to an official statement, PM Modi had said that states, district administrations and experts have suggested extension of the lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.
He had made it clear that the lockdown cannot be lifted in one go, asserting that the priority of his government is to “save each and every life”.Before the lockdown was announced on March 24, the prime minister had interacted with the chief ministers on March 20 to discuss ways and means to check the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The novel coronavirus has affected over 7,000 people and claimed the lives of 239 people in the country so far.