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Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: With COVID-19 cases refusing to die down, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced that the ongoing coronavirus lockdown will be extended till May 3 in the larger interest of the nation to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Announcing the decision, PM Modi said that the priority of the government is to save each and every life and the current situation has necessitated the tough decisions.

"India has so far managed to evade the loss due to COVID-19 to much extent because of your sacrifice. This is the power of "We The People Of India". The power of "We The People Of India" enshrined in the Constitution was seen in the country during 21 days of India Lockdown & today it is the best tribute to Babasaheb Ambedkar. India's fight against the coronavirus pandemic is going on very strongly. People have gone through hardships to save India and I know it was tough. I respectfully bow to the people of India for their sacrifice. India's holistic & integrated approach has been praised by all other nations. Only social distancing and lockdown can contain the spread of #COVID19. Economic loss is not important than the lives of people. The verdict from every State appeared to be in support of lockdown extension. Many States have already extended and based on these suggestions, the decision to extend lockdown till May 3 was taken." - PM Modi.

"Till April 20, every locality will be closely scrutinised and assessed. And whichever area keeps itself clear of hotspots, then permission will be given for some relaxations in that particular area. But be warned that these relaxations will come with stricter rules and will be conditional." Modi said.

The Prime Minister has asked all Indians to take extra care of vulnerable at home, abide by the rules of lockdown and social distancing, follow government guidelines to boost immunity, feed poor and needy, not to sack any employee and respect all the corona warriors.

Following a meeting with the chief ministers of all states on April 11, Modi had stressed on “jaan bhi, jahaan bhi”, indicating that restrictions may be tweaked as it was important to save livelihoods along with lives.

Emphasising the criticality of coming 3-4 weeks for determining the impact of the steps taken till now to contain spread of Coronavirus, Modi had told the chief ministers that 'teamwork is the key to facing the challenge'.

Hinting at the Coronavirus lockdown extension, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had earlier tweeted, “PM has taken correct decision to extend lockdown. Today, India’s position is better than many developed countries because we started lockdown early. If it is stopped now, all gains would be lost. To consolidate, it is imp to extend it.”

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