Tuesday 14 April 2020 6:58 AM UTC
New Delhi April 14: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today extended the current lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus till May 3 and said the restrictions would be reviewed on April 20, given the difficulties faced by the country’s poorest.
“After taking into account all suggestions, we have decided to extend the lockdown till May 3,” PM Modi said in his 25-minute address shortly after India crossed the 10,000-mark in COVID-19 cases.
“Till April 20, each district, each state will be monitored closely to see whether the lockdown is being followed. Then we can decide on relaxing the restrictions,” said the Prime Minister, who used a traditional red and white “gamcha” or cloth towel as a mask before beginning his address.
Some essential activities could be allowed after April 20 in parts of the country that showed some improvement in fighting the infection, he added.
“We absolutely must ensure that this virus does not spread to any further parts of the country. We should be worried every time we hear that someone in some part of the country has died of the virus. We must ensure that new hotspots do not spring up.”
There have been 339 coronavirus deaths in India, according to the latest data from the Union Health Ministry.
India was in much better shape than many major countries in the fight against coronavirus, said the Prime Minister. “If the country had not taken a holistic, integrated approach and had not acted fast, then it is frightening to think what it would have been like today,” he said.
Asserting the need for a strict lockdown to ensure that COVID-19 did not spread to a single new area, the PM said citizens had persevered and confronted every difficulty to ensure that India was ahead in the fight against the virus. “The power of ‘We The People Of India’ has been seen in the country during the lockdown,” he said. – PTI
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