Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday during a meeting with chief ministers hinted that the ongoing country-wide lockdown to contain Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) may not be lifted immediately all over the country. However, there may be some relaxations in the orange and green zones, especially regarding the economic activities. Restrictions are most likely to continue in red zones (hotspot areas). The lockdown which started on March 24 midnight is scheduled to end on May 3, if not extended further.
The meeting today was held to review the lockdown situation across the country and to draw a possible exit plan from it.
In the video-conference meeting, the PM spoke with chief ministers of at least nine states including Bihar, Gujarat, Odisha, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Puduchery.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee too attended the meeting. Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan did not attend the meeting because according to reports, he was not chosen among CMs to speak at the meeting. Kerala chief secretary attended the meeting.
Many states, including Bengal, have been asking the Centre to release a financial package for coping with the situation. Although Narendra Modi did not speak on the issue, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman who attended the meeting took note of it. The PM has reportedly assured the states saying that there are no reasons to worry about the country’s economy at present.
The restrictions on transport are likely to continue and educational institutions are likely to stay shut. Religious gatherings will continue to remain banned.