After the meeting of PM Modi with CMs got over, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said the state wants the lockdown in the state to continue beyond May 3 to stem the spread of COVID-19.
New Delhi: Our economy is good, no need to worry, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today as he indicated at a video meeting with Chief Ministers that the coronavirus lockdown would continue beyond May 3 in the parts of the country worst affected by the infection.
“There is no need to worry on the economy front, our economy is good,” PM Modi reportedly told nine Chief Ministers, emphasizing that the lockdown had saved thousands of lives in the past one and a half months.
The PM asked states to draw up a plan to exit the lockdown by marking districts as red, orange and green to indicate the level and intensity of the COVID-19 infection. Most of the Chief Ministers said the lockdown should end, but they had expressed concern about the shuttered economy.
- “We have to give importance to the economy as well as continue the fight against COVID-19,” PM Modi told Chief Ministers.
- The Prime Minister stressed on the need to follow the mantra of “do gaz doori (six feet apart)” and said masks would remain a part of our lives for times to come.
- Economic activities are likely to reopen in orange and green districts, which have far fewer cases or none.
- States, said the PM, must make efforts to covert red zones into orange and then into green zones.
- Private cars may be allowed with restrictions but the ban on public transport is likely to continue.
- Schools and colleges are likely to stay shut and the ban on religious meetings and congregations will also continue.
- Five of nine Chief Ministers at the meeting said the lockdown should end, while the rest were in favour of extending it for the sake of controlling the spread of COVID-19.
- Among those who favoured continuing the lockdown was Meghalaya and Odisha.
- “Green zones will be opened, relaxations in sectors have been agreed to but the mindset of lockdown will continue. We should get people ready with new norms like social distancing,” said Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma.
- Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan skipped the meeting and sent the Chief Secretary to represent the state.