cases in India continue to rise, some states have taken the lead in extending the ongoing
to control the spread of the virus.
During a press conference, state Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha said the state government will impose a 14-day 'total lockdown' in 10 hotspots from where several COVID-19 cases have been reported.
The state government is also planning to conduct rapid tests in the hotspots.
"The prime minister, during the video-conference, said the lockdown
will be extended till April 30. We have already said that we will support whatever decision the Centre takes in this regard. The PM also said the next two weeks are going to be very crucial and critical," she told reporters.
The Centre should also bring in a special package for the unorganised and MSME sectors, Banerjee said.
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On Saturday, the Telangana government also decided to extend the lockdown in the state till April 30 to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Noting that the state shares a long border with Maharashtra, where the virus spread is rapid, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said tough steps are needed to ensure that Telangana is protected.
Appealing to the people to cooperate with the government in the fight against the deadly disease, he said there could be a possibility of lifting the lockdown after April 30 in a phased manner if things improve.
Referring to the concerns of students with regard to annual exams, he said a decision would be taken about class 10 exams, which came to a halt midway.
The cabinet has decided to promote students of class 1 to 9 to the next class, the chief minister said.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray also announced on Saturday that the state will extend the lockdown at least till April 30, hours after he attended a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi via video conferencing.
He asked people to be "mentally prepared" for a longer wait if the situation did not ease by then.
“The lockdown will be extended till April 30, that's a minimum. I am emphasizing the word minimum, because we need the people’s co-operation to break the cycle. People should not come out unless absolutely necessary. Do not crowd markets and co operate, and only then we can tackle this by April 30, ” Thackeray told the media.
The decision regarding pending examinations, resuming of industrial units and the migrant workers stranded in the state will be announced before April 14.
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Earlier, Odisha became the first state to announce the extension of the ongoing lockdown till April 30. The announcement came after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik chaired a meeting of the state Cabinet.
He also declared schools and other educational institutions will remain closed till June 17.
Following Odisha's step, Punjab announced on April 10 the extension of lockdown till 30 April, 2020/1st May, 2020. The decision came as the Centre was considering the proposals from the states on continuing the restrictions beyond April 14, when the nationwide 21-day lockdown is slated to end.
Given the seriousness of the situation arising out of #Covid19, Cabinet has decided to extend lockdown & curfew till 1st May. These are difficult times & I appeal to all to #StayHomeStaySafe & strictly observe health safeguards as you have done so far, for which I am thankful. pic.twitter.com/OBq7uJgpnQ
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) April 10, 2020
Though PM Modi is yet to make any official announcement of the lockdown extension, which ends on April 14, Delhi Chief Minister hinted on Saturday the news of the extension saying, "PM has taken correct decision to extend lockdown."
"PM has taken correct decision to extend lockdown. Today, India's position is better than many developed countries because we started lockdown early. If it is stopped now, all gains would be lost. To consolidate, it is imp(ortant) to extend it," Kejriwal tweeted.
PM has taken correct decision to extend lockdown. Today, India’s position is better than many developed countries because we started lockdown early. If it is stopped now, all gains would be lost. To consolidate, it is imp to extend it
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 11, 2020
The Centre is considering a request made by most states to extend the ongoing nationwide lockdown by two more weeks beyond April 14, government sources said on Saturday after Modi's interaction with chief ministers, news agency PTI reported. "Most states requested to extend the lockdown by two weeks and the Centre is considering the request," the government source added.The Centre should also bring in a special package for the unorganised and MSME sectors, Banerjee said.