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PM Modi extends lockdown till May 3. Key takeaways

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced the extension of lockdown amid coronavirus outbreak in the country till May 3. Modi's decision comes after his consultation with all the chief ministers, his cabinet colleagues, expert doctors and officers/workers on the ground.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: April 14, 2020 14:27 IST
coronavirus, lockdown, covid19, coronavirus lockdown, PM Modi, lockdown extension
Image Source : AP

A child flies kite on the middle of a deserted road during a nation-wide lockdown amid concerns over the spread of new coronavirus in India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced the extension of lockdown amid coronavirus outbreak in the country till May 3, claiming social distancing is the only way to pass the "agni pariksha". Announcing the lockdown extension, Modi said the shutdown will be enforced with more strict measures and all states will be evaluated on their performance in containing the outbreak. If any state or its districts are found satisfactory, certain areas may be given a conditional reprieve from April 20, said the PM Modi. He stressed that the focus should be not to allow the creation of any new hotspots. Thanking the people of India, the Prime Minister said that the shutdown has been able to contain the spread of the virus better than many nations. Making a case between economics versus life, he said the latter is more important. Modi's decision to extend the lockdown comes after his consultation with all the chief ministers, his cabinet colleagues, expert doctors and officers/workers on the ground.

PM Modi announces coronavirus lockdown extension till May 3, 2020 | Key takeaways 

  • Prime Minister has announced the lockdown extension till May 3 adding all districts, localities, states will be closely monitored till April 20, as to how strictly they are implementing norms. States which will not let hotspots increase, they could be allowed to let some important activities resume, but with certain conditions.
  • PM Modi invoked Ambedkar and the reference to 'we the people' in the constitution during his address to the nation to suggest the battle against the coronavirus is a common one. 
  • PM Modi said India took the decision to impose a 21-day complete lockdown when coronavirus cases were around 550. If lockdown would not have been imposed in India, then the situation could have turned disastrous.
  • People have gone through hardships to save India. I know how many difficulties you faced. I respectfully bow to the people of India for their sacrifice, Modi said.
  • While making new guidelines, we have kept in mind the interests of the poor and daily wage workers. Harvesting of Rabi crops is also underway. Central and all states are working together to ensure that farmers face minimal problems, PM Modi added.
  • India is in a much better position than some of the other big and developed nations where coronavirus cases are 25-30% more than India, PM Modi said.
  • The Prime Minister said even when India did not have a single corona patient, India had begun screening passengers from COVID-19 affected countries. India did not wait for the problem to escalate, rather, as soon as the problem appeared, we tried to stop it by taking swift decisions. I can't imagine what the situation would have been if such quick decisions were not taken, the Prime Minister added.

Congress reacts to lockdown extension

Meanwhile, reacting to PM Modi's address, Congress termed it as rhetoric and hollow on specifics the prime minister's address to the nation, saying there was no mention of a financial package or concrete steps to revive the economy. Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala asked where is the country's roadmap to fight coronavirus.

He said leadership does not mean making people realise their responsibilities but to fulfil the government's duty of accountability towards the people of the country. "A lot of talk has taken place. But, where is the roadmap to fight corona," he asked.

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said, "The poor have been left to fend for themselves for 21+19 days, including practically soliciting food. There is money, there is food, but the government will not release either money or food. Cry, my beloved country," he said on Twitter.

Watch PM Modi's address to the nation on extending lockdown

Meanwhile, several states in the country have already extended their lockdown period for 15 days - till April 30, in order to control the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held a meeting via video conferencing, with the chief ministers of various states. It was reported that the leaders of the states and the prime minister had decided to extend the lockdown period for another 15 days. An official announcement on the same was, however, awaited. 

Last month, the prime minister had addressed the nation twice -- on March 19 and March 24. 

On March 19, he had called for resolve and restraint to fight coronavirus. He had also announced a 'janata curfew' on March 22, a Sunday. 

On March 24, he had announced the 21-day nationwide lockdown to check the spread of the deadly virus. 

Also Read | Highlights of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to nation

Also Read | 'No one should face hunger', Sonia Gandhi writes suggestions to PM Modi amid coronavirus crisis​

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