Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday morning announced that the lockdown in the country will be extended till May 3 in order to contain the spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
He said that the government had taken the decision after discussion with state governments and even individuals. “Some states have already extended the lockdown,” he said. The Prime Minister said that India has benefited from social distancing and lockdown already and the state governments too have worked hard to achieve this.
“If we see it from the economic point of view, it has cost us a lot. But this is nothing compared to the lives of the people,” he said.
The Prime Minister added that the lockdown implementation will be done very strictly, especially in the hotspots. He said there will be strict surveillance and vigilance will increase in the coming days. “It will also be seen that no area turns into a hotspot,” he said. Some areas that have been able to overcome the crisis, can be given some freedom but this will be lifted immediately if the prevailing strictures are not followed properly.
The details of the rules and regulations, norms will be released on Wednesday. Some strictures would be lifted especially in view of the work of daily labourers and workers, who will also benefit from the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana. Some of these will be implemented from April 20.
The Prime Minister added that a lot of effort is being taken to ensure that the food supply chain functions uninterrupted and the health infrastructure is being steadily improved. Currently, 220 lab testing centres are open for tests across the country, along with one lakh beds for patients. He appealed to young scientists in the country to come up with a vaccine against COVID-19.
PM Modi said that India has not waited for the crisis to deepen. Compared to other big countries, India is in a much better situation now. “Those countries have higher percentage of Corona virus cases than India now,” he said. India has taken holistic, integrated steps, he said, and without these quick steps, the situation could have been dismal in the country.
In order to fight COVID-19, he asked people to download the Arogya Setu mobile app, to ensure the poor have enough to eat, not to lay off employees, to ensure the elderly are well protected as they are more vulnerable and to ensure that immunity is well taken care of.