Lockdown extension decision on April 11 after Modi’s meet with CMs

While Odisha in a first extended its April 21 lockdown deadline to April 30, other states like Kerala, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh have urged the Centre to stretch it to contain the spread of COVID-19

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President JP Nadda, global leaders, coronavirus, COVID-19
The prime minister had earlier hinted that the country can give China a fitting reply if is provocated. Photo: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to interact with chief ministers of all states on Saturday (April 11) via video conferencing, where a decision would be taken on whether the 21-day lockdown to check the spread of COVID-19, should be extended.

On Wednesday (April 10), Modi interacted with the floor leaders and took stock of the growing coronavirus cases across the country.

According to sources, the prime minister is likely to address the nation again to announce his decision on whether the coronavirus lockdown will end on April 14 or not. However, several states has favoured for extension.

Odisha has taken a lead and has extended the lockdown till April 30.

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It is being speculated that the lockdown may be extended, but with several changes this time. Interstate movement of traffic and people will remain restricted, except for essential services. Schools, colleges and religious institutions are likely to stay closed, say reports.

In a recent meeting, Modi told the floor leaders of political parties who have representation in Parliament, that several state governments, district administrations and experts have asked for an extension of the lockdown, likening the situation to a “national” and “social emergency.”

In the meeting, Modi had said by all accounts the lifting of the lockdown “is not possible”.

The interaction was held through video conferencing and those participated, included Ghulam Nabi Azad, leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha, and Nationalist Congress Party head Sharad Pawar.

The prime minister has been interacting with various stakeholders, including doctors, journalists and heads of Indian missions to get a feedback on ways to check the spread of coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said in its monetary policy report that the outlook for India’s economic recovery has been sharply altered by the coronavirus outbreak.

According to an official statement, he said states, district administrations and experts have suggested extension of the lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.

This is for the second time the prime minister will interact 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. Before the lockdown was announced on March 24, the prime minister had interacted with the chief ministers on March 20 to discuss means to check the spread of the deadly virus.

(With inputs from agencies)

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