PM Modi hints at lockdown extension at all-party meeting

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday indicated that the country-wide lockdown which is in place to contain Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) may be extended beyond April 14. He hinted this during a video conference with the floor leaders of political parties of the Parliament.

The 21-days’ ongoing country-wide lockdown came into effect from March 24 midnight.

At the meeting on Wednesday, Modi said that he would discuss the situation with chief ministers of all the states on Saturday before the current lockdown ends.

Modi said that the current situation in the country is nothing short of a “social emergency” and that is why “tough decisions” have to be taken. The governments will have to keep a constant eye on the situation, he said.

Indicating the severity of the COVID-19 situation, the PM added that even after the crisis ends, there will have to be “massive changes” at social, behavioural and personal levels.

Some of the states have requested the PM to extend the lockdown although people from various quarters are opposing the extension as the country’s economy is being hit due to the lockdown. The lockdown has severely affected the livelihood of the poor and businesses across the country.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday that even if the lockdown is extended, the government must take a humane approach.

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