Consensus among States to extend lockdown by two weeks: PM Modi


New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that there seems to be a consensus among the States on the extension of lockdown by another two weeks to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Interacting with Chief Ministers through video-conferencing, the Prime Minister noted that combined efforts of the Centre and the States has definitely helped reduce the impact of COVID-19 but since the situation is rapidly evolving, the need of constant vigilance was paramount.

He emphasised the criticality of coming 3-4 weeks for determining the impact of the steps taken till now to contain the virus, adding that teamwork is the key to facing the challenge.

A PMO release said this was the third such interaction of the Prime Minister with the Chief Ministers, the earlier ones had been held on April 2 and March 20, 2020.

“Talking about the exit plan from lockdown, the Prime Minister said that there seems to be a consensus among the States on the extension of Lockdown by another two weeks. He underlined that the motto of the government earlier was ‘jaan hai to jahaan hai’ but now is ‘jaan bhi jahaan bhi’, the release stated.

The country is currently under 21-day lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus. It will end on April 14.

Prime Minister Modi categorically assured that India has adequate supplies of essential medicines and said that measures were being taken to ensure the availability of protective gear and critical equipment for all front-line workers.

He also gave a stern message against black marketing and hoarding.
Talking about the economic challenges, the Prime Minister said that the crisis is an opportunity to become self-reliant and turn the nation into an economic powerhouse.

He expressed distress and condemned instances of attacks on the doctors and medical staff, and at incidents of misbehaviour with students from North-East and Kashmir and laid stress that such cases need to be dealt with firmly.

He also spoke about the need to curb lockdown violations and ensure that social distancing is followed. The Prime Minister talked about strengthening healthcare infrastructure and reaching out to patients through the telemedicine.

Prime Minister Modi also spoke about popularising the AarogyaSetu app to ensure downloads in greater numbers.

He referred to how South Korea and Singapore got success in contact tracing. Based on those experiences, India has made its own effort through the app which will be an essential tool in India’s fight against the pandemic, he said.

He also referred to the possibility of the app being an e-pass which could subsequently facilitate travel from one place to another.

The interaction was also attended by Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and senior officials including Cabinet Secretary. (ANI)