COVID-19: At meeting with PM Modi, Odisha, Meghalaya moot lockdown extension beyond May 3

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Published: April 27, 2020 3:14:48 PM

Notably, Odisha was the first state to announce the lockdown extension even before PM Modi's address to the nation on April 14 when he extended the restrictions till May 3. The 40-day lockdown since March 25 to contain the pandemic is scheduled to end on May 3.

Representational pic. PTI

At least four states have suggested to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to extend the lockdown beyond May 3 to limit the spread of coronavirus in the country. The suggestions were voiced during the Prime Minister’s meeting with chief ministers of all states. Odisha and Meghalaya were among those who favoured an extension of the lockdown restrictions.

Odisha Health Minister Naba Das, who was present along with Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik at the PM’s meeting held through video conferencing, said the state can’t bear the loss of lives and that the lockdown should continue for one more month. “I have demanded that lockdown should continue otherwise we can’t face these things in Odisha. Let it be one month more, then, we will see what is going on,” he said.

Notably, Odisha was the first state to announce the lockdown extension even before PM Modi’s address to the nation on April 14 when he extended the restrictions till May 3. The 40-day lockdown since March 25 to contain the pandemic is scheduled to end on May 3.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma also said that the lockdown should continue beyond May 3 to stem the spread of the virus. He, however, said some relaxations could be introduced in green zones and non-COVID-19 affected districts after Delhi lifts the nationwide shutdown.

“At the video conference called by PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, we have mooted to continue with the lockdown in Meghalaya,” Sangma tweeted after the meeting.

This was PM Modi’s fourth such interaction with state chief ministers since March 22 when he first spoke to them on the coronavirus situation and steps taken — both by the Centre and the states — to contain the virus.

Among those present at the virtual meet included Home Minister Amit Shah, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and top officials of the PMO and Union Health Ministry. The chief ministers who attended the meeting included Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi), Uddhav Thackeray (Maharashtra), E K Palaniswami (Tamil Nadu), Conard Sangma (Meghalaya) Trivendra Singh Rawat (Uttarakhand) and Yogi Adityanath (Uttar Pradesh).

The Centre and the states have been giving gradual exemptions to resume the economic activities during the lockdown.

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