States Say Extend Lockdown
Coronavirus cases in India: India has recorded over 9,000 cases and 308 deaths.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation tomorrow at 10 am on the coronavirus lockdown, after requests from states to extend it. The Prime Minister is widely expected to announce an extension of the lockdown till April 30, but with measures to restart the economy.
During his meeting with 13 Chief Ministers on Saturday, PM Modi had agreed that a longer lockdown was necessary to fight the highly contagious COVID-19, which has infected over 9,000 in India, but had talked about saving livelihoods as well as lives.
There are concerns that India’s economy, which was already growing at its slowest pace in six years, will take a severe hit amid the lockdown, with unemployment rising to record levels. The restrictions have put millions of poor people out of work and hit small shops and industries hard.
There is a proposal to mark districts as red, orange and green based on the intensity of the Covid 19 infection.
Officials say around 400 districts, which are largely unaffected, can be in the green zone where agriculture, construction and manufacturing activities can begin while keeping social distancing in mind.
The suggestion is to continue a complete lockdown or partial restrictions in the districts affected by coronavirus.
PM Modi indicated in the four-hour meeting that while saving lives is a priority, the economy also needs to restart. “Jaan bhi, jahaan bhi (both life and economy are important),” he told the Chief Ministers, compared to what he had said three weeks ago while announcing the total nationwide lockdown – “Jaan hai toh jahaan hai (the world exists if life exists).”