PM Modi extends nationwide lockdown till 03-05-2020 to combat coronavirus, cautions employers against laying off employees but does not rule out graded relaxation in lockdown norms: train services remain suspended

PM Modi extends lockdown till May 3 to contain coronavirus spread

ACCEPTING the plea of several Chief Ministers and experts, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended nationwide lockdown to contain COVID -19 till May 3.Announcing the extension in a broadcast to the nation on Tuesday, April 14 when the earlier announced 21-day lockdown was scheduled to end, PM Modi called for a one-week strict observance by the citizens. During this time, the measure of success determine relaxation, especially how areas did not allow being turned into hotspots and controlled the situation in preventing any new case. Detailed guidelines in the regard will be issued by the Government on Wednesday, he said. Thanking the people for bearing with hardships caused by the lockdown, he said, the collective strength and resolve demonstrated by the people is, in fact, a real tribute to the architect of the Constitution, Dr B R Ambedkar, whose birth anniversary is being observed today. Explaining how the Centre was always ahead in taking steps to prevent the spread of the virus and ahead of the curve, he said while comparisons with other countries should not be done but the rate of progression in India is far less than countries that have greater resources and better health infrastructure. With obvious criticism taken into consideration for alleged delay in late in taking preventing steps, PM said the country had begun screening tourists/international travellers at airports even before the first case was detected, started compulsory 14-day quarantine of those arriving in India before 100 cases were found and declared nationwide lockdown when 550 cases were recorded. On health infrastructure being ramped up to face the challenge, he said as against the international norm of 1500 beds for every 10,000 cases, India now has 1 lakh beds and 600 hospitals dedicated to tackling Covid19 cases.

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Stressing the need for seven steps each citizen should take in the collective fight against the spread of the global health pandemic, he advised all to take extra precaution and care of senior citizens especially those with pre-existing diseases; follow social distancing and lockdown while using homemade face masks; download Aarogya Setu App and encourage others to do so; help the poor to the extent possible and take care of their food requirements; increase personal immunity by following AYUSH guidelines; have empathy towards employees and not remove them from work, and respect for frontline warriors engaged in fighting the pandemic. Meanwhile, central ministers and senior officials have resumed duties in Delhi. The Delhi Metro Rail has announced to keep services suspended till May 3.

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