Chief ministers of several states have exhorted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to extend the lockdown considering the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the country. The nationwide lockdown is anticipated to continue after May 3 at many places especially in COVID-19 hotspots.
On Monday, while interacting with chief ministers via video conference Modi said, State governments should first turn their red zones (districts with a high number of COVID-19 cases) into orange zones (districts with fewer cases) and thereafter into green zones (districts with no infections).
Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma said the state with constraints on inter-state and inter-district movement would continue lockdown while Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik appealed PM Modi to grant crucial activities within the state. Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh left the decision on lockdown extension to the Centre.
Coronavirus cases in India have gone up to 27,892 with states reporting over 1,300 cases in the last 24 hours. With more than 8,000 coronavirus cases Maharashtra remained the severely affected state.
Underlining that India would carry on combatting coronavirus, PM Modi said resuming economic activities that were stalled due to the COVID-19 outbreak was also crucial. Since the outbreak, this was the fourth meeting of PM Modi and state chief minister.
Also, PM Narendra Modi ingeminated the significance of social distancing to alleviate the transmission of coronavirus. Further PM Modi added, ” ‘Do gaz doori’ should be our new mantra. Face masks and face covers will become part of our lives in the days ahead”.
During the meeting, PM Modi said that the month-long nationwide lockdown aided India to protect thousands of lives. He also said, “the danger of the virus is far from over and constant vigilance is of paramount importance.”
PM told chief ministers about several people coming forward with symptoms like cold or cough in the past few weeks and said this is a welcome sign.
For strengthening the efforts of the country in combatting COVID-19, PM Modi appealed the CMs to ensure that more people download and use AarogyaSetu app.
Aside from chief ministers, Home Minister Amit Shah, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and top officials from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Union Health Ministry also attended today’s meeting.