coronavirus update indiaas on : 24 September 2020 05:13 GMT+5:30
Lockdown May Be Extended Beyond May 17, Say Sources
Restrictions like a 7 pm-to-7 am curfew may continue, however, PM Modi has asked states to send in suggestions for changes to other restrictions.
New Delhi: Government sources said that the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown is likely to be extended for a third time beyond May 17 but more restrictions may be eased in areas that are not severely affected. This comes after an online meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and state chief ministers.
Restrictions like a 7 pm-to-7 am curfew and curbs on public transport may continue in areas designated as Red Zones, sources said. PM Modi has asked states to send in suggestions for changes to the rules by May 15.
The Prime Minister said,"I am of the firm view that the measures needed in the first phase of lockdown were not needed during the second phase and similarly the measures needed in the third phase are not needed in the fourth," according to a statement released after the meeting.
According to the sources, a number of states have asked for the lockdown to be extended but limited to areas worst hit by the crisis. They have also requested for Red Zones to be changed from entire districts to just containment zones.
Battered by the fallout of the lockdown that is now in its sixth week, many states are in favour of resuming economic activity outside containment zones.
PM Modi informed the states that tourism and infrastructure could be two strong pillars of riving economic growth, sources said.
"We now have reasonably clear indication as to the geographical spread of the pandemic in India, including the worst affected areas. Moreover, over the past few weeks, officials have understood operating procedures in a time such as this, right up to the District level," he said.
"And therefore, we can now further focus our strategy in this battle against coronavirus, as should be the case. We have a twofold challenge - to reduce the transmission rate of the disease, and to increase public activity gradually, while adhering to all the guidelines, and we will have to work towards achieving both these objectives," he added.