Not considering withdrawal of lockdown now, says Tripura CM Deb

Deb said the state government has taken several initiatives to revive the economy

Deb said it is impossible to "resume inter-state bus, train or air services immediately after May 3. Photo: PTI

Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has said the state government is not considering withdrawal of the ongoing lockdown in near future but will weigh options to relax some restrictions in a phased manner.

He said it is impossible to “resume inter-state bus, train or air services immediately after May 3”, the date till which the nationwide lockdown has been extended. “We do not find any way to withdraw the lockdown as it is the only viable mean to break the chain of the coronavirus outbreak. It seems we have to continue with the lockdown and we have to withdraw some restrictions in a phased manner,” Deb said on Wednesday evening after an all-party meeting convened by the state government.

Eighteen political parties including the ruling BJP, its ally the Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT), the CPI(M), the Congress and the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra (INPT) had participated in the meeting.

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“It is impossible to resume inter-state bus, train or air services after May 3. People have to accept the lockdown. All the political parties in the state were briefed about the COVID-19 situation in the state,” Deb said, adding that “no political party” has stressed on immediate withdrawal of the lockdown.

CPI(M) politburo member and leader of the Opposition Manik Sarkar and Tripura Pradesh Congress president Pijush Kanti Biswas among others had attended the meeting. “Almost all poor people of the state have received financial benefits ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 along with free ration during the lockdown,” the chief minister said.

Deb said the state government has taken several initiatives to revive the economy, which has been hit by the ongoing lockdown. “Fifty out of 75 industrial units here have started operations. Primary sectors like agriculture are also working,” he said.

Last week, Deb had said the state became coronavirus – free after its second COVID-19 patient tested negative. Senior minister Ratan Lal Nath said the state has adequate stock of essential commodities like rice, wheat and sugar.

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