West Bengal and Karnataka, along with Maharashtra announce extension of lockdown

New Delhi/Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a dialogue with the Chief Ministers of all the Indian states, through videoconferencing, on Saturday. The 21-day period of the lockdown is ending on 14th April. But Chief Minister of all the states requested the Prime Minister to extend the period of the lockdown, in view of the increasing number of cases. Therefore, it is almost certain that the lockdown in the country will be extended by at least two weeks. As per reports, Prime Minister Modi will soon announce to that effect. Following the dialogue with the Prime Minister, Chief Ministers of West Bengal and Karnataka, along with Maharashtra, announced extension of lockdown till 30th April.

The number of deaths in the country has reached 242. 40 deaths have been reported in one single day. There has been addition of a whopping 1035 cases to the total number of cases taking it to 7,529. In the last three days, 2,500 new cases of Coronavirus have been reported in from around the country. The union health ministry informed that currently there are 6,565 patients under treatment for Coronavirus in the country and 243 patients have recovered completely. Luv Agrawal, the spokesman of the union health ministry, claimed that if the lockdown were not imposed in time, the number of cases would have reached 820,000 by 15th April. With this, Agrawal has underlined the necessity and the importance of abiding by the rules of the lockdown.

Possibility of extension of lockdown beyond 14th April was already making rounds, given the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the last week. Expert advice was that it is necessary to extend the lockdown, to contain the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic. It was being said that Prime Minister Modi will be able to decide, only after a dialogue with the state Chief Ministers. Therefore, all the attention was focussed on this meeting.

The Prime Minister held discussions with the state Chief Ministers on Saturday. Most of the Chief Ministers were in favour of extending the lockdown. All the sates concurred that in view of the current scenario, there is no alternative but to extend the lockdown. An option of extending the lockdown only in cities and districts where the number of cases was high, also was considered during the discussion.

After the meeting, Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, West Bengal and Karnataka announced extension of lockdown till 30th April. Odisha, Punjab and Rajasthan have already announced the extension. As per this, 6 states have decided to extend the lockdown, so far. Whereas, some states have put the onus of the announcement regarding the extension, on the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, Rajesh Tope, Health Minister of Maharashtra, has indicated that if the citizens don’t inculcate discipline and the number of cases keeps increasing, the lockdown may be continued beyond 30th April. Measures will be taken marking Red, Orange and Green zones, based on the number of cases and assessing the threat of the spread of the pandemic. Health Minister Tope informed that the hospitals will be divided to treat patients with Corona, Corona-like and patients with no signs of Coronavirus.

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