Nationwide lockdown be lifted April 14? PM Modi to chair all-important meet with CMs today

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Updated: Apr 11, 2020 8:51 AM

PM Modi will interact with Chief Ministers on Saturday via video-conferencing. The video conference comes amidst indications that the central government may extend the lockdown across the country.

PM Narendra Modi to interact with Chief Ministers on Saturday. (PTI Photo File)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a video conference with Chief Ministers of states and UTs today to decide the future course of action in the fight against COVID-19. The Prime Minister will seek views of the CMs on whether to extend the 21-day lockdown. Today is the 18th day of the nationwide lockdown. It will end on April 14.

Ahead of the meeting, the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister took stock of the situation with the Empowered groups at a high level meeting held in New Delhi on Friday.

This would be the second meeting between the PM and CM after lockdown was imposed on the intervening night of March 24-25. During his April 2 interaction with Chief Ministers, PM Modi had pitched for a staggered exit from the lockdown. Earlier on March 20, the Prime Minister had interacted with the CMs to discuss means to check the spread of the deadly virus.

The video conference comes amidst indications that the central government may extend the lockdown across the country beyond April 14 after several states have favoured the extension to contain the spread of virus.

Earlier on Wednesday, PM Modi had interacted with floor leaders of various parties who have representation in Parliament. Addressing the leaders, PM Modi had made it clear that the lockdown cannot be lifted in one go on April 14, asserting that the priority of his government is to “save each and every life”.

According to an official statement issued later, PM Modi said states, district administrations and experts have suggested extension of the lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.

Notably, Odisha and Punjab have already taken a lead and extended the lockdown till April 30.

Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry said that over 6,500 people are infected and more than 200 have lost their lives in the country. Globally, more than 1 lakh people have died and about 16 lakh have been infected by the virus.

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