Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday interacted with Prime Minister Narendra Modi through a video conference and made some important suggestions for combating novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis in the State.
Patnaik, who participated in the meeting online along with Chief Ministers of all other States to discuss the coronavirus situation in the country, suggested PM Modi that the nationwide lockdown be extended till April 30 to contain the rising COVID-19 cases from spiralling more.
On the backdrop of his own government's decision to extend the lockdown in the State for two more weeks, Patnaik suggested PM Modi not to allow resumption of rail and flight services before April 30.
This apart, the Odisha CM suggested that activities related to agriculture, animal husbandry and MGNREGS should be facilitated during the lockdown period with due compliance of social distancing norms.
Stating that the Odisha government has been taking care of people from other states stranded here, the CM urged the PM that people from Odisha should be taken care of by the concerned states.
During the interaction, PM Modi said the Chief Ministers that he is available round the clock to take any suggestions and also assured to assist the State governments in jointly tackling the pandemic.
It is being said that PM Modi has decided to extend the lockdown for two more weeks, though an official clarification in this regard is yet to come from the Centre. Delhi CM Kejriwal however has already confirmed that PM has agreed to lockdown extension.
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
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 11, 2020
Notably, Odisha is the first State to extend lockdown restrictions till April 30 in the wake of rising cases of COVID-19 in the State and outside. Besides, the State government has also decided that all the educational institutions, including schools and colleges will continue to remain closed till June 17.