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Lockdown 2.0: Areas That Reduce Hotspots May Get Relaxations, Flights and Train Services Remain Suspended Till 3 May Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended complete lockdown till 3 May, following which suspension of train and air passenger services has also been extended

By Shipra Singh

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Narendra Modi Twitter Page

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday extended the countrywide lockdown till 3 May to contain the spread of COVID-19 virus. "Keeping suggestions from states in mind, it has been decided that the lockdown in India will have to be extended till 3 May," the Prime Minister stated in his address to the nation. The lockdown was supposed to end today.

In a more important announcement he said those areas where hotspots do not increase may be given limited relaxations to resume important activities after 20 April. "Enforcement of lockdown in every block, town, district and state will be closely monitored till 20 April. Those areas that do not let hotspots increase or even reduce the possibility of new hotspots will be allowed to resume selective important activities post 20 April. But, take note that if coronavirus returns in any such area post 20 April, all relaxations will be withdrawn immediately," the Prime Minister said.

The government on 15 April will release detailed guidelines laying out conditions basis which restrictions will be eased post 20 April.

"The decision to allow revival of important activities in identified areas post 20 April has been taken keeping in mind daily wage workers. Those who earn daily income are my family and my priority is to reduce their hardships," The PM said. Harvesting of Rabi crops is going on and state along with central government are taking steps to minimize difficulties of farmers, he added.

Following PM's address to the nation, the aviation ministry announced suspension of all domestic and international flights till May 3. The Indian Railways has also extended the suspension of its passenger services till 3 May, whereas goods and parcel trains will remain operational.

Nation Prepared Against Covid-19

The PM assured that there is enough surplus of food and medicines to survive these difficult times. The governments is making repeated efforts to remove hurdles in the way of supply chain of essentials and upgrade health infrastructure needed to fight the pandemic, he stated. "It is said that with every 10,000 positive cases of Covid-19, 1500-1600 beds are needed. We have already arranged for over 1 lakh beds. Also, we have over 600 Covid dedicated hospitals."

The PM stressed that fight against coronavirus will be stricter in the coming one week to ensure that no new hotspots emerge. "Make sure to not be negligent and not let others be negligent," he said. "Any new cases or new deaths will be a matter of concern for us."

7 Steps to Fight Covid-19

PM Modi urged everyone to take care of seven issues to fight COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Take care of senior citizens in your house, especially those with medical history.
  • Follow social distancing lakshman rekha and lockdown strictly. Don't forget to use self-made face masks and covers when stepping out.
  • Follow tips given by AYUSH ministry to boost your immunity.
  • Download Aarogya Setu app
  • Help needy, poor families by providing them with meals.
  • Those running businesses should sympathise with workers and not sack them from their jobs
  • Respect and appreciate all corona warriors—nurses, doctors, cleaning workers, policeman

India Faring Better Compared to Other Countries

The PM stated that timely actions—screening at airports, compulsory quarantine for those traveling from other countries, prompt closing down of gyms, malls and movie theatres and 21-day lockdown—has delayed the damage caused by coronavirus to a large extent in India.

"We did not wait for the situation to get worse, rather as soon as we saw the problem, we made quick decisions to control it from spreading," the PM said.

Compared to other big nations, India is on a stable footing, he said. "About a month ago, coronavirus situation in some of the countries was same as India. But, today the same countries have about 25-30 per cent more cases compared to India and thousands have died." Social distancing and 21-day lockdown has benefitted the country massively, he added.

As of 8 a.m on 14 April, India has 8,988 Covid-19 active cases, with 339 deaths and 1,035 discharged cases.

The PM in his speech acknowledged that when looked from economic angle, the lockdown looks like an expensive decision and the nation has paid a price for it. However, lives of citizens are invaluable, the PM added.

Shipra Singh

Entrepreneur Staff

Freelance Journalist

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