India extends lockdown till 3rd May amid corona scare
London – The Indian government has decided to extend the nationwide lockdown until at least May 3 in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus infection.
In a televised address on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “From the economic angle, we have paid a big price. But the lives of the people of India are far more valuable.”
Mr Modi had imposed nationwide lockdown on 24th of March bringing the country of 1.3 billion people to a halt.
The decision resulted into exodus of thousands of people – migrant workers in big cities heading towards their villages—on foot. Some of them died on the road.
Prime Minister Modi said some restrictions would be eased on April 20 to help poor people dependent upon daily wages.
“Till April 20, we will monitor how well the districts are doing. In places where the situation is improving, few relaxations will be made,” said Mr Modi in his fourth address to the nation in one month.
He, however, did not reveal an economic plan or package for the country despite repeated pleas from chief ministers for urgent measures that could help states tide over the current gloom, Indian Express newspaper reported.
The Indian PM’s latest announcement came as covid-19 confirmed cases in India rose to more than 10,000 and nearly 340 deaths.
Neighbouring Pakistan and Nepal are also expected to extend their nationwide lockdown this week.
The World Bank has said economic growth in India and other South Asian countries is likely to be the slowest for four decades this year because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Lock down, restrictions ahead
Modi added a list of recommendations to the public:
1. Take care of the elderly at your home, especially those with pre-existing health conditions.
2. Comply with the lock down restrictions
3. Strengthen your immunity and take care of yourself by wearing masks, even home-made ones
4. Use the app ‘Aarogya Setu- the app was created by the Indian government to connect public with essential health services
5. Help those who are poor around you and can’t lafford the same care, essentials as every one else
6. Don’t lay off employees now
The South Asian nation reports more than 10,000 cases and nearly 340 deaths till now.