Lockdown in India could be extended by two weeks post April 14, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a meeting with state Chief Ministers today, amid rising cases of the coronavirus. Minutes after the meeting concluded, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted: "PM has taken the 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 important to extend it."
WHAT PM MODI SAID:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said there seems to be a consensus amongst states on extending by another two weeks the ongoing nationwide lockdown, which began on March 25 and was to end on April 14.
'Jaan hai to jahan hai'. When I had addressed the nation I had said that to save life of every citizen, lockdown and social distancing are very important. Most of the people understood this and stayed at home.
'Jaan bhi and Jahan bhi' - a future where people care about both the aspects, follow their duties and abide by the directions of the government - this will be important for India's prosperous and healthy future.
Next 3-4 weeks are critical to determine impact of steps taken till now to curb the coronavirus spread, he said. The prime minister also urged state governments to ensure strict adherence to the lockdown.
Amid reports of shortfall of protective gear for doctors and para medics, he said measures are being taken to ensure availability of personal protective equipment and critical items for all front-line workers in COVID-19 fight, an official statement said.
During the interaction, the chief ministers sought financial, fiscal assistance from the Centre to boost resources in fight against the pandemic.
WHAT CMs SAID AFTER THE MEETING:
Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi CM: PM has taken the 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 important to extend it.
BS Yediyurappa, Karnataka CM: PM told us that we must not compromise on lockdown and we are receiving suggestions for extending it for next 15 days. PM said in next 1-2 days Govt of India will announce guidelines for next 15 days.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel recommended to give permission to carry out economic activities within the states and continue the ban on inter-state road, air and rail facilities.
Shivraj Chouhan, Madhya Pradesh CM: Today we are not in favour of removal of lockdown. It should not be removed now. Life of the people is more important and to save it the lockdown is necessary.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI)