• Victor Mohan

COVID-19 Lockdown extended till May 3, 2020

PM Modi announced an extension of lockdown till May 3. The 21-day lockdown was scheduled to end today, April 14, 2020.

National lockdown in India

Emphasizing the importance of the next one week in the fight against COVID-19, PM Modi appealed to all the countrymen to stop the spread of the disease to newer areas. Further, he said that certain relaxations can be given in those areas that have shown promise in fighting the disease. An assessment will be done for the next one week of all the blocks, districts and states based on which the relaxations can be given. A graded relaxation is essential to maintain the supply of essential items without any hindrances. Inter-linkages among various segments of the industry is one of the reasons behind partially opening up economic activity.

In this regard, most chief ministers are in favor of extending the lockdown. In fact several states including Maharashtra, Odisha and Tamil Nadu have already announced extension of the lockdown till April 30.

Empty Indian streets during the lockdown

Chief among the reasons for this decision is the rampant rise in cases recorded in the country. As of today, the number of COVID-19 cases has surpassed 10,000. Quarantining, as a measure to maximize social distancing, then seems to be an essential step in arresting the spread of the disease which has devastated several developed countries including Italy and Spain.

Key takeaways from the announcement:

  1. Social distancing and lockdown have benefited the country immensely. The lockdown will be extended till May 3, 2020. During this period, the designated COVID 'hotspots' will be closely monitored.

  2. The response of Indians to the fight against COVID-19 thus far has been inspiring.

  3. The sacrifice by frontline workers including doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, media persons and policemen has been instrumental in staving off the extensive damage which would have been caused by COVID-19.

  4. India has performed well when compared with other countries battling the pandemic.

  5. The country has 220 testing labs, 1 lakh+ beds and 600+ dedicated hospitals for COVID-19.

  6. For the next one week, till April 20, each town, district, state will be evaluated. Their performance in tackling COVID-19 will be analyzed and the areas which show improvement and hold promise will be granted graded relaxations.

  7. The PM Garib Kalyan Yojana has been introduced to help those most affected by the lockdown. Special consideration will be given to the nation's farmers and the difficulties faced by them.

  8. There is no need to over-stock on essentials.