Area-wise review and relaxations after April 20: PM says in address to nation
GN Bureau | April 14, 2020
As the 21-day lockdown comes to an end on Tuesday, prime minister Narendra Modi announced that the restrictions meant to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus were now extended till May 3, following consultations with various stakeholders including the state chief ministers.
In his close to half an hour long address to the nation, Modi said that several states had already gone ahead and extended the lockdown. While India had fared far better in comparison to many developed countries in fighting the Novel Coronavirus, more efforts were needed, he said, and the lockdown was necessary for more days.
He complimented people of India for the exemplary patience in this battle and for the hardships they have suffered in saving the country from the scourge of the virus. Modi spoke of the “holistic and integrated” measures the government had well ahead in time, but for which it would be difficult to imagine the spread of the virus in the country by now.
He added that a review will be undertaken after April 20 and the places following lockdown instructions effectively would be given relaxations, especially keeping in mind daily wagers. Such relaxations, however, would be conditional.
He urged people to be extra sympathetic to the needs of the poor, even as he said the government had made all possible efforts to meet the needs of the marginalized and the daily wagers. Since this is the season for Rabi crop, he said states were making best efforts to help the farmers in this crucial period.
The PM also assured the people that supply chains of the essential items were running well, and the health infrastructure was being augmented.
Giving seven-point instructions, he requested people to take care of the elderly, take holistic precautions and download the Arogya Setu mobile phone app developed by the government for guidance. He urged employers not to sack employees.
Noting that these are the days of various festivals in many parts of India, he noted that people had chosen to celebrate them keeping social-distancing restrictions in mind. The PM also noted that Tuesday was the birth anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar, the chief architect of the Constitution and paid tribute to him on behalf of the nation.
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