Extend coronavirus lockdown after May 3: CMs tell Modi in video meeting

PM Modi during one of his video conference interaction. (Source: Narendra Modi)
Several state chief ministers on Monday favoured an extension of the lockdown, during interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A significant number of states also raised their economic concerns with the Prime Minister. 

There were nine Chief Ministers who spoke, at least four of them advocated for an extension of the lockdown. The meeting took place in the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced the government to impose a nationwide lockdown, pushing the economy to the brink.  The fourth interaction between the prime minister and the chief ministers lasted for over three hours during which the states suggested measures to reopen activities in green zones while maintaining strict shutdown in hotspots across the country.  

The Centre is yet to take any call on the extending lockdown which ends on May 3. 

Jharkhand says no to Centre's new guidelines on reopening shops

The Jharkhand government has decided not to implement till May 3 the Centre's guidelines giving relaxations to some shops due to a sudden spurt in COVID-19 cases, Chief Minister Hemant Soren said on Monday. He said CRPF personnel have been asked to monitor Ranchi's Hindpiri locality, where the first coronavirus case in the state was detected in a Malaysian woman in March, and then more and more cases followed. The CM further said that the borders of Ranchi would be sealed to contain the spread of COVID-19. Fifteen people tested positive for COVID-19 in Jharkhand on Sunday, the highest single-day jump in the number of cases so far.

Goa CM in favour of extending lockdown 

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said his government is of the opinion that the lockdown in the coastal state should be extended beyond May 3. He said the Goa government will write to the prime minister, urging him to extend the lockdown. Goa has so far reported seven COVID-19 cases and all the patients have recovered from the viral infection.

PM Modi during his interaction with state CMs. (Source: CMO Maharashtra)
Continue restrictions: Himachal CM

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Monday said lockdown should continue beyond May 3 to curb the spread of coronavirus, an official spokesperson said. Supporting the lockdown extension, Thakur said the restrictions on the movement of people should continue as COVID-19 cases are still emerging. The lockdown should be extended after May 3 to check the spread of novel coronavirus, he said. The chief minister, however, said states should be allowed to resume economic activities, particularly in the green zones. 

While Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik suggested extending the lockdown for another 30 days, the prime minister is believed to have told the CMs that the target should be to turn red zones into orange and orange zones into the green. Modi also conveyed to chief ministers that the country will have to give importance to the economy as well as to continue the fight against coronavirus.

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