Today's Paper

Modi hints at graded exit from lockdown, says danger not over

Constant vigilance is of paramount importance, PM tells CMs in videoconference

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday told Chief Ministers that though the lockdown following the COVID-19 outbreak had yielded “positive results” and the country managed to “save thousands of lives in the past one and a half months”, the danger of the virus was far from over and “constant vigilance is of paramount importance”. He was addressing a videoconference with Chief Ministers.

The signal to the States, many of whom asked for an extension of the lockdown, was clear — that any exit from would be graded, and would take into account case load and virulence.

The decision to extend the lockdown itself, sources said, would be taken around May 3, when the current phase ends.

According to those present at the meeting, the Prime Minister, after speaking to the Chief Ministers (nine of whom spoke, while several others sent written submissions), was of the opinion that while economic activity is important, it would be undertaken with some reservations, only within districts and with several caveats. “We have to be brave and bring in reforms that touch the lives of common citizens,” he said.

Mr. Modi emphasised that all efforts should be made to convert the red zones (where cases have occurred in the past 14 days) to orange (where cases have not occurred in 14 days) and green zones (where no cases have occurred in 28 days). “States should decide minute policies for the three zones. The hotspots and containment areas will continue to remain sealed,” he said.

“The country has seen two lockdowns, both different in certain aspects and now we have to think of the way ahead. Masks and face covers will become a way of life in the days ahead and under the circumstances, everyone’s aim must be rapid response,” he noted.

Recommended for you