Covid-19 crisis: Modi holds meeting with CMs, discusses lockdown extension

Prime Minister Narendra Modi | Photo: @ANI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday interacted with chief ministers (CMs) of all the states and Union Territories through a video conference at 11 am to take their feedback on whether the 21-day national lockdown , imposed to check the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) and ending next week, should be extended.

The video conference comes amidst indications that thecentral government may extend the countrywide lockdown beyond April 14 after several states backed the extension to contain the fast-spreading virus. Punjab and Odisha have already decided to extend the lockdown beyond April 14. 

The Union Home Ministry has sought views of state governments on various aspects, including whether more categories of people and services need to be exempted. In the current lockdown, only essential services are exempted.

This is for a second time that the prime minister is interacting 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.

With 40 deaths and 1,035 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, India on Saturday witnessed the sharpest ever increase in coronavirus cases, taking the tally of the infected people in the country to 7,447, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds a meeting via video-conferencing with the Chief Ministers over #COVID19.

— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2020

According to official data, out of the 7,447 Covid-19 positive cases, 6,565 are active cases, 643 have been cured, discharged and migrated and 239 have succumbed to the virus.

Addressing floor leaders of various parties who have representation in Parliament, Modi had on Wednesday made it clear that the lockdown cannot be lifted in one go, asserting that the priority of his government is to "save each and every life".

According to an official statement after the Wednesday interaction, the prime minister told these leaders that states, district administrations and experts have suggested extension of the lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.

Before the lockdown was announced on March 24, the prime minister had interacted with the chief ministers on March 20 to discuss ways and means to check the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel