NATION Awaits PM Modi’s Broadcast on April 14 With Bated Breath: Agriculture & Fishery Sectors Exempted From the Lockdown Protocol

Ebangla Bureau

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation on Tuesday at 10 am IST amid speculation on its extension and consensus among Chief Ministers at a meeting with the PM on its continuation beyond Tuesday, April 14. The 21-day nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus has been reported to contain its spread.PM Modi had addressed the nation twice — on March 19 and March 24. On March 19, he had called for resolve and restraint to fight coronavirus. He had also announced a ‘Janta curfew’ on March 22. On March 24, he had announced the 21-day nationwide lockdown to check the spread of the deadly virus. In a video message on April 3, Modi had urged people to switch off the lights at their homes and light up lamps, candles or mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9 pm on April 5 to display the country’s “collective resolve” to defeat the coronavirus and support the medics, paramedics, and others engaged in the essential services. Nearly half of India’s 718 districts are now affected by the coronavirus pandemic. In the last 10 days, the highly contagious pathogen has spread to 120 new districts. On March 29, no more than 160 districts had been under the virus’s shadow. That number doubled in a week’s time. Maharashtra also has the highest number of deaths, followed by Madhya Pradesh  Gujarat and Delhi, Punjab. Tamil Nadu and Telangana. Other states with fatalities include Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka  West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan, Kerala, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Assam. During his meet with CMs PM Modi stressed the need for saving both humans and their livelihoods. Meanwhile, Maharashtra, Punjab, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal and the Union Territory of Delhi have extended lockdown beyond April 14. India’s current strategy is to seal off the hotspots and increase testing capacity which has proved crucial wherever the coronavirus has been reasonably staved off, such as in Kerala. Lav Agarwal, the joint secretary in the Union Health Ministry, has said that testing will now be extended to private medical colleges as well. They will be mentored by 14 mentor institutes such as AIIMS and Nimhans. Presently, 151 government and 68 private labs carry out such tests. Union Minister for Food, Public Distribution and Consumers Affairs Ram Vilas Paswan has assured the nation saying the PDS has enough grains to feed over 81 crore people over the next nine months. He said that with a bumper wheat crop expected, stocks were going to be adequate for much longer. (Edited by PKC with agency inputs)

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