Coronavirus outbreak: Lockdown extended till May 3; PM Modi issues 7-point appeal

Updated: Apr 14, 2020, 12:04 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Hotspots in focus as Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces strict monitoring of localities, districts and states till April 20

Narendra Modi. Pic/PTI
Narendra Modi. Pic/PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation on Tuesday, extended the nationwide lockdown till May 3.

In a televised message to the nation the prime minsiter said that the main focus will be on the hotspots and the government will impose stricter measures to fight covid-19 outbreak. The PM said "Till 20th April, all districts, localities, states will be closely monitored, as to how strictly they are implementing norms. States which will not let hotspots increase, they could be allowed to let some important activities resume, but with certain conditions." 

He thanked and paid a debt to gratitude to the citizens for fighting a courageous battle against COVID-19 despite facing their own personal challenges. He praised everyone and said that everyone is well aware of the situation and has fulfilled their responsibility.

Prime Minister began his address to the nation by saying India is doing well to tackle the coronavirus outbreak. He thanks people on the frontline of the COVID-19 battle. "Our fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic is progressing with strength," he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his speech invoked Dr. BR Ambedkar and acknowledged the courage shown by the people of India during the COVID-19 lockdown. "In our constitution, 'We the People' is written and the power of 'We The People Of India' has been seen in the country during the lockdown. This is the best respect we can pay to Dr BR Ambedkar on his anniversary." he said.

He also said that rules would be stricter in order to curb the spread of novel Coronavirus. "Till April 20, each district, each state will be monitored closely to see whether the lockdown is being followed. Then we can decide on relaxing the restrictions," said the Prime Minister. Prime Minister Narendra Modi says that whatever relaxations granted during the lockdown to some areas will be upon conditions and even if one such case is reported, the relaxations will be taken back.

Talking about daily wage workers, PM Modi said that the new guidelines will be made keeping their interests in mind. Rabi crops cutting is on, and the measures will be taken to reduce their problems.

He asked for the unity and support of India on seven issues where he spoke about taking care of elders in the family, supporting the healthcare workers among others. He issued a seven-point appeal to the citizens and asked for:

  • Take proper care of the senior citizens of your house, especially those with underlying problems.
  • Lockdown and social distancing should be properly followed. Home-made face covers and masks should be used.
  • Increase your immunity by following directions given by Ayush Ministry.
  • To help curb coronavirus spread, download the Aarogya Setu application.
  • Wherever possible, help poor families.
  • In your businesses, help your coworkers, including those working under you, don't downsize people.
  • Respect the Coronavirus 'soldiers' -- doctors, nurses, sanitation workers and other essential service workers.

He added that India did not wait for the problem to increase but it foresaw the problem and made an attempt to control it. Modi added that compared to other nations, India is at a better position.

He ended the address by asking people to be very vigilant and wished everyone good health.

It was Narendra Modi's fourth televised address to the nation in less than a month. Last month, the Prime Minister had addressed the nation twice – on March 19 and March 24. On March 19, he had called for resolve and restraint to fight Coronavirus. He had also announced a 'janta curfew' on March 22, a Sunday. On March 24, he had announced the 21-day nationwide lockdown to check the spread of the deadly virus. In a video message on April 3, Modi had urged people to switch off the lights at their homes and light up lamps, candles or mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9 pm on April 5 to display the country's "collective resolve" to defeat the Coronavirus.

On Monday the number of COVID-19 cases rose by 1,253 to 10,444 cases. Nearly 10 states, including Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal, Telangana, Punjab had already announced an extension of the lockdown until April 30.

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