Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday extended the countrywide Lockdown till May 3 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
India has been under the 21-day lockdown since March 25, which was planned to end Tuesday midnight, even as the number of deaths in the country rose to 339 and the total cases climbed to 10,363.
Addressing the nation on TV on Tuesday morning, Modi said that
the extension of lockdown till May 3 was decided after taking suggestions from various quarters of the Indian society.
In his address, the Prime Minister said that some relaxations would be given with effect from April 20 in the areas which were safe from the COVID-19 and where people were strictly following Lockdown regulations.
“But those restrictions will be reviewed if coronavirus spreads again in those areas,” he added.
“Tomorrow detailed guidelines about relaxation of restrictions will be issued,”
he said, adding that while weighing the guidelines, enough care was taken to look after the needs of the poor and daily wage earners, and ensure that farmers faced minimum problems as harvest season was round the corner.
Modi assured his countrymen that there were enough stocks of medicines and foodgrain to meet the challenges posed by COVID-19.
He also urged the country’s scientists to contribute immensely towards making a vaccine for treating the virus.
Giving details of India’s preparedness to fight COVID-19, Modi said that more than 600 dedicated hospitals were functional across the country to treat those patients.
Stressing upon social distancing to defeat COVID-19, Modi said it was the best way to fight back as it had benefited India hugely during the past 21 days of Lockdown.
The Prime Minister ended his address by giving out seven appeals to the countrymen, including taking care of the old people particularly those who have been suffering from diseases, strictly follow lockdown and social distancing and respect the coronavirus-warriors like policemen, hospital staff.