During the meeting, PM Modi said that 'my government's priority is saving each and every life.' (Photo Credit: File Photo)
In one of the clearest hint at the post-April 14 scenario, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reportedly said that lifting the coronavirus lockdown is not possible at the moment. The latest reports say that during an all-party meeting, PM Modi reportedly said that he has received suggestions from various leaders and almost everyone is of view that lockdown should continue. There are reports that the final decision will be taken after the meeting of the Prime Minister with all Chief Ministers via video conference on April 11. Chirag Paswan, who took part in the all-party meet, said that we are with the Centre. 'Lifting lockdown at this moment is not in the national interest,' Paswan said after the meeting. Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that, 'around 80 per cent of political parties suggested extension of lockdown at Wednesday's meeting with PM Modi.' PM Modi had imposed a 21-day lockdown across India from March 24 midnight. The confirmed cases in India have crossed 5,000-mark on Wednesday with nearly 150 deaths. (Coronavirus LIVE Updates)
During the meeting, PM Modi said that 'my government's priority is saving each and every life. Today’s discussion reflects constructive and positive politics, reaffirms India’s strong democratic foundations and spirit of cooperative federalism.' PM Modi called the present situation in the country akin to a ‘social emergency’. "States, District administrations and Experts have suggested extension of Lockdown to contain spread of the virus," PM Modi told the leaders of all political parties. Top officials of the Government of India also gave detailed presentations on steps being taken to meet the emerging challenges, including status of distribution of benefits under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana.
On Monday, two major states - Uttar Pradesh and Telangana - had clearly said that they are in favour of the extension of the lockdown. While Uttar Pradesh said that it will not lift the lockdown till a single COVID-19 patient is present in the state, Telangana said that it would request the Centre for an extension. Addressing the party workers on the occasion of BJP's foundation day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday had said that everyone should be prepared for a long battle against coronavirus. Earlier there were reports that the Centre wants inputs from the states on the exit plan. Many believe that a staggered, phased policy may be adopted to bring the country out of the total lockdown. Globally, nations are extending the lockdowns to flatten the curve. While Singapore has announced a month-long shutdown, several European nations have also extended the lockdown period.
Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday said that the death count due to the novel coronavirus has rose to 149 and the number of positive cases have also witnessed a major spike. According to the ministry, 5,194 positive cases have been reported till date. While the number of active COVID-19 cases is 4,643, as many as 401 people were cured and discharged and one had migrated, it said. According to the ministry’s data updated at 9 am, 25 new deaths have been reported since Tuesday. The total number of cases include 70 foreign nationals. Sixteen deaths were reported from Maharashtra, two each from Delhi, West Bengal, Haryana and Tamil Nadu and one from Andhra Pradesh. Maharashtra has reported the most coronavirus deaths at 64, followed by Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh at 13 each and Delhi at 9.