- 18 Oct 2020
Most of the states batted for lockdown extension till April 30th. The Centre has to take the final call on the lockdown extension that is ending on April 14th. Prime Minister, Narendra Modi strongly criticized and condemned the instances of attacks on the doctors and medical staff, incidents of misbehavior with students from North-East and Kashmir. The constant vigilance is paramount and next 3-4 weeks will decide how flatten will the COVID-19 curve be by efforts taken by entire nation.
The Central government may release necessary guidelines about extension of the lockdown and requisite future course of action within couple of days. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, held a video conference with Chief Ministers of all the states and Union territories (administrative officers wherever applicable) to discuss the situation of the pandemic at hand and extension of the ongoing lockdown. Most of the states batted for lockdown extension till April 30th. The Centre has to take the final call on the lockdown extension that is ending on April 14th.
Despite imposition of lockdown on 23rd march, the number of cases of COVID-19 patients are increasing alarmingly over the last few days. This has raised concerns for the Chief Ministers of various states. Odisha and Punjab have announced extension of the lockdown till 30 April and 1 May respectively, even before today’s Video conference.
Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal recommended nationwide lockdown till April 30 and also recommended bonus for farmers. He said “Even if central government is considering easing restrictions, under no circumstances should transport on roads, railways or air be opened at this time”.
Punjab Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh said that lockdown should be extended by at least a fortnight in addition to special concessions for industry and agriculture sectors urgently. He has also asked for faster supply of rapid testing kits.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Trivendra Singh Rawat has sought extension of lockdown till April 30 and suggested for partial lifting of restriction on public movement in districts not affected with COVID-19.
● Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath has also voted for lockdown extension in the state for about two weeks.
Rajasthan Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot voted for lockdown extension and spoke about plight of farmers.
Bihar government has raised no objection to lockdown extension by a letter with exception for rural construction and flood relief work to continue.
● Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chauhan has said that he is not in favour of the withdrawal for the ongoing lockdown in the state, as many cases have been witnessed over the last few days in the state.
Maharashtra Chief Minister, Udhav Thackrey advocated strongly for lockdown to be extended till April 30, his state being the worst affected by the pandemic.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, Bhupesh Baghel said activities within districts not affected by COVID-19, hence lifting be allowed to restart with sealed borders between districts and states with no train or air connectivity.
Odisha Chief Minister, Naveen pattnaik has requested for nationwide extension of lockdown till April 30.
Goa Chief Minister, Pramod Sawant also suggested for lockdown extension but sought that economic activities should continue in his state. OPDs of private and government hospitals will begin from Monday and fisheries activities have started in the state.
● Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy said that zones within districts to be color coded and only red zones to undergo a containment lockdown and added that his government was ready for any decision taken by the Central government.
Telangana Chief Minister, K C Rao also favored lockdown extension by two weeks and also requested Prime Minister to increase the FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility and Budgetary management) limit to 5% from existing 3% along with postponement of repayment of interest of states debt for six months.
Karnataka has supported lockdown extension till April 30. The state is recovering fast and Chief Minister, B. S. Yediyurappa didn’t want to take any chances.
Kerala has also voted in support of lockdown extension with relaxations at non-hotspots.
● Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, K Palaniswami has favoured lockdown extension by two weeks. He said that his state will follow whatever is decided by the Central government.
Source: ANI, (Video grab from the Video Conference)
During the meeting Prime Minister, Narendra Modi wore what seemed to be a homemade mask, giving a symbolic gesture to the entire nation in the process. Owing to the constant efforts of the States and the Centre, the impact of COVID-19 has been reduced to some extent. Prime minister said that the next 3-4 weeks are very crucial and critical for the country. Prime Minister insisted on the need for every citizen to download the Arogya Setu app, an e-pass against COVID-19. Details on which can be read here.
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi strongly criticized and condemned the instances of attacks on the doctors and medical staff, incidents of misbehavior with students from North-East and Kashmir, emphasizing that such cases need to be dealt with a strict resolve. Prime minister gave the slogan, “Jaan bhi Jahan bhi” and appealed citizens to remain indoors. Prime Minister Modi has also assured that the country has adequate supplies of all essential goods and medicines and measures are being undertaken to fulfill demands of essential gear and protective equipment for the Men on Duty.
Prime Minister focused his talk on strengthening health care infrastructure and possibility of reaching out to patients via tele-medicine system. He suggested the need to incentivize direct marketing of farm produce, thus avoiding any sort of crowding in the Mandis, if need be APMC laws are allowed to be amended.
After the meet Delhi Chief Minister tweeted, “Prime Minister has taken correct decision to extend lockdown. Today, India’s position is better than many developed countries because we started lockdown early. If it is stopped now, all gains would be lost. To consolidate, it is important to extend it”. Later in the day, Maharashtra, Telangana and West Bengal have already extended lockdown till April 30.
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi indicated for a lockdown extension with few relaxations in the agricultural sector. Prime Minister also said that "I am available 24x7. Any Chief Minister can speak to me and give suggestions (on COVID-19) anytime”. He said that we all should stand together shoulder-to-shoulder in the fight against this disease. “This is situation of a crisis”, he said. But if we play our cards right, it can also help us becoming self-reliant and an economic powerhouse in the future. The constant vigilance is paramount and next 3-4 weeks will decide how flattened will the COVID-19 curve be by efforts taken by entire nation.