Although there have been strong appreciations for the kind of efforts that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his team have put to fight with COVID-19. Most probably the upcoming national address tomorrow at 10 am announce an extension of the lockdown till April 30, but with measures to restart the economy.
However, some states have already announced the extension of this lockdown but PM Modi is likely to make this national level announcement along with his plan and vision to unleash roadmap for safe exit from this lockdown. During his meeting with 13 Chief Ministers on Saturday, PM Modi had agreed that a longer lockdown was necessary to fight the highly contagious COVID-19, which has infected over 9,000 in India, but had talked about saving livelihoods as well as lives.
There are concerns that India’s economy, which was already growing at its slowest pace in six years, will take a severe hit amid the lockdown, with unemployment rising to record levels. The restrictions have put millions of poor people out of work and hit small shops and industries hard.
There is a proposal to mark districts as red, orange and green based on the intensity of the Covid 19 infection.
Officials say around 400 districts, which are largely unaffected, can be in the green zone where agriculture, construction and manufacturing activities can begin while keeping social distancing in mind.
The suggestion is to continue a complete lockdown or partial restrictions in the districts affected by a coronavirus.
PM Modi indicated in the four hour meeting that while saving lives is priority, the economy also needs to restart. “Jaan bhi, jahaan bhi (both life and economy are important),” he told the Chief Ministers, compared to what he had said three weeks ago while announcing the total nationwide lockdown – “Jaan hai toh jahaan hai (the world exists if life exists).”