COVID-19 Lockdown Extension: PM Modi To Address The Nation Tomorrow, Here’s What To Expect
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation on Tuesday morning at 10 am. He is likely to announce the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown extension and the exemptions to be imposed nationwide, if any, during the address.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) took to Twitter to announce, “Prime Minister @narendramodi will address the nation at 10 a.m. on 14th April 2020.”
Prime Minister @narendramodi will address the nation at 10 AM on 14th April 2020.
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) April 13, 2020
Earlier, there were indications that the Prime Minister’s Office is contemplating a graded lifting of lockdown measures, and marking the country into red, yellow and green zones, depending on the severity of the coronavirus spread.
Government sources say, areas under yellow and green zones may get some exemptions. Moreover, the government is considering giving more reprieve to the agricultural sector, in face of an extension of the current shutdown.
Sources indicated that at least ten Chief ministers “strongly advocated” an extension of the ongoing shutdown during the CM Conference, recently held through video conference. While some Chief Ministers have advised the Prime Minister to extend it “at least for the rest of April”, some have advocated “caution”, in case he decides against extending it.
On Friday, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, during a Facebook address to the ABVP cadre in the JNU, gave the clearest indication of the extended shutdown. “A few states have extended the shutdown because measures such as this are the only ways we can win the battle. If we have to get ready for another 15 days, we will need new volunteers.”
The current shutdown ends on the night of April 14, and Prime Minister Modi will address the nation on Tuesday to convey what’s in store for them.
However, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Sunday allowed godowns (warehouses) and cold storages to store any goods as it exempted them from the COVID19 lockdown while directing states and Union Territories to follow the measures as well as ensuring the movement of employees of manufacturing units of essential goods.
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the Centre is focussing on a quick solution to the issues flagged with the Union Home Ministry control room. A team of officers of Joint Secretary and above from various ministries are engaged with the task and they try to resolve the issues in coordination with the state and Union Territory governments.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Friday had said that he has asked all states to keep a plan ready to start MGNREGA work from April 15, if the situation allows.
Furthermore, the government on Sunday decided to allow 15 various industries to commence operations. The government also has allowed trucks, repair services, and street vendors to start work as the exit strategy from the COVID-19 lockdown starts to take shape which will get the country going once again.
(With Agency Inputs)