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States suggests for the lockdown extension, final decision in a day or two

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Ground Report, Wahid Bhat

Covid-19 positive cases in the country has reached 7,600, with more than 800 new cases being recorded on Friday, according to data compiled by Worldometer, stand at 249 death.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s digital meet with chief ministers pitched for an extension of the nationwide lockdown, that was to end on 14 April.

According to TV reports, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, along with his counterparts Naveen Patnaik from Odisha, Ashok Gehlot from Rajasthan and Captain Amarinder Singh from Punjab, has urged PM Modi to extend the nationwide lockdown until April 30.

Kejriwal added that a decision on lockdown extension will need to be taken at the level of the Centre, not specific states, otherwise the purpose would be defeated.

Kejriwal also asserted that if the government is thinking to ease the lockdown, then all kinds of transports should not be allowed and restrictions should be imposed on movements of rail and road transport. “If the lockdown is eased, all kinds of transport, either rail or road, should not be allowed,” Kejriwal added.

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Meanwhile, news agency ANI quoted CMO Punjab as saying that, Punjab CM Captain Amrinder Singh recommended the extension of national lockdown by at least 15 days. He also suggested that special concessions for industry & agriculture sectors should be made on urgent basis. He also asked for faster supply of rapid testing kits.

During the video conference, PM Modi took feedback from the chief ministers about the prevailing situation in their respective states and discussed whether the nation-wide lockdown would end on Tuesday.

“I am available 24×7. Any chief minister can speak to me and give suggestions anytime. We should stand together shoulder-to-shoulder,” PM Modi said as reported by NDTV.

The Prime Minister spoke to the Chief Ministers through a video conference at 11 am today when it is believed that the government may extend the lockdown implemented across the country with some possible relaxation.

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Punjab and Odisha have already extended the lockdown period in their states. The lockdown released in the country is coming to an end on Tuesday. The Union Home Ministry has sought views from state governments on various aspects, including information on whether more people and services should be exempted.