The Prime Minister’s announcement came on the day the ongoing 21-day lockdown comes to an end and the number of coronavirus cases cross 10,000 mark.
By Shivani Verma
Shivamogga: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended the nationwide lockdown by 19 days and urged citizens to follow the guidelines. In his address, he said, “I know you have faced many difficulties. I know the kind of trouble all of you have been through in this period. I know all of you have suffered to save our country.”
He stated how India has been able to contain the spread of coronavirus and taking quick measures like early screening of passengers from COVID-19 affected countries, integrated approach, etc, unlike other countries.
In his 25-minute address to the nation, Prime Minister Modi said, “I held multiple meetings with the Chief Ministers and other authorities to find out several ways to contain the spread of the virus as it is spreading fast. Keeping everyone’s suggestions and looking at the risk involved, lockdown will be extended till May 3.”
“Till April 20, we will monitor how well the districts are performing. A few relaxations would be made in places where the situation is improving,” said the Prime Minister. “Relaxations will be cancelled if the situation worsens.”
His announcement was followed by many reactions on Twitter by the Indian authorities and Ministers.
India’s Union Minister for Housing & Urban Affairs, Civil Aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri supported PM’s decision to extend the lockdown and assured the citizens of the healthcare infrastructure.
Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan urged the citizens to practice the seven steps mentioned by PM Modi.
To read more about these seven steps, read our article about “How officials responded to PM’s commandments“.
Shortly after his address, the Ministry of Railways and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) informed that all the trains and flights shall remain canceled till May 3, 2020.
While the opposition appreciated the step, they also questioned the livelihood of the poor and their survival and issues faced in financial assistance by the central government.
While the Prime Minister has announced the extension of nationwide lockdown, there still are many questions unanswered about migrant workers who are stuck, universalization of food rations, financial assistance by the central government to states, resumption of some work, etc.
There are also questions about the increase in the supply of PPEs, testing kits, capacity for ventilators, oxygen supply, and ICUs reports Scroll.
As of April 14, 2020, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare data shows that there are a total of 8,988 active cases in India, 1,035 patients are cured and discharged, 339 fatalities and one person has migrated.
Bloomberg data shows the total number of global cases is approaching 2 million, including more than 119,000 fatalities. More than 448,000 patients are reported to have recovered. China has reported 89 additional confirmed cases and no new deaths.
More than 5,80,000 cases have been confirmed in the US—highest till now. In Italy, the death toll has surpassed 20,000. France extended the national lockdown to May 11.