After PM-CMs meet, Centre considers two-week lockdown extension

Chennai: After a video conference with Chief Ministers – most of whom want the lockdown extended – Prime Minister Narendra Modi is said to be considering a two-week extension.

Soon after the meeting, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal 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.’

As India battles the Covid-19 crisis, Modi today held a video conference with Chief Ministers primarily to take their feedback on whether the 21-nation-wide lockdown be extended beyond 14 April to stem the tide of the infections.

The Central government is understood to have also obtained views on the issue from all the relevant agencies and stakeholders involved in the efforts to contain the spread of the pandemic.

The video conference, which began at 11am, took place amidst indications that the Central government may extend the nationwide lockdown with some possible relaxations even as Punjab and Odisha have already announced extending the lockdown beyond 14 April when the current spell of 21-day shutdown across the country ends on Tuesday.

The Union Home Ministry has sought views of State governments on various aspects, including whether more categories of people and services need to be exempted. In the current lockdown only essential services are exempted.

NT Bureau