Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced the extension of the nationwide lockdown till May 3 as the country battles rising COVID-19 cases.
“India’s fight against the coronavirus is going on very strongly,” said PM Modi in an address to the nation. “Compared to many developed nations, India is in a much better position due to its holistic approach and quick decisions.”
The Prime Minister emphasised that it was India’s quick reaction to the virus, which included a 21-day lockdown when the country had only 550 positive cases and social distancing, have ensured that cases didn’t spiral out of control.
“India may have paid a big economic price but there can be no alternative to saving human lives,” said the prime minister.
He also added that suggestions from states across the country and other stakeholders favoured an extension of the lockdown.
PM Modi said that certain relaxations might be put in place in areas which are not COVID-19 hotspots after April 20 but a decision on that will be taken later.
“Any potential area that can turn into a hotspot needs to be looked at carefully. In the next one week, the fight will be tightened and the lockdown will be enforced even more stringy,” he said.
Enumerating some of the measures taken in dealing with the outbreak, the prime minister said that India had over one lakh beds to fight COVID-19 with more than 600 hospitals specified only for treatment of those infected and testing in over 220 labs.
Prime Minister Modi’s 7-point guideline:
- Look after the elderly and vulnerable and keep them safe from the virus
- Follow the lockdown and social distancing. Use homemade masks
- Use guidelines given by Ministry of Ayush to increase immunity
- Download the Aarogya Setu app to help fight COVID-19
- Help the poor as much as possible and provide them food
- Show compassion for colleagues in your industry/profession. Don’t fire people
- Respect all doctors, nurses, cleaning staff and police personnel