On Wednesday, former JDU vice president and political strategist Prashant Kishor disapproved of a generalized lockdown being branded as a solution to fight the novel coronavirus crisis. Claiming that the lockdown was solely led by police, he contended that this was not the way to tackle COVID-19- a public health and economic crisis. So far, the Centre is yet to take a decision on whether the lockdown should be extended beyond April 14.
On March 25, Kishor opined that a "badly executed" lockdown would destroy the livelihood of millions of Indians. He also called for requisite testing, isolation and treatment measures. Currently, there are 5,274 confirmed novel coronavirus cases in India out of which 411 people have recovered while 149 individuals have lost their lives.
On Tuesday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh chaired a meeting of the Empowered Group of Ministers to discuss the post-lockdown strategy. Sources revealed that the course of action has been divided into two parts- catering to the states where lockdown will be extended and other states where the restrictions will be relaxed. Reportedly, mega community canteens, central distribution points of food are some of the measures that will be implemented in the states where the lockdown is extended. On the other hand, some states will be requested to end the lockdown in a phased manner.
Earlier in the day, the PM held an all-party meeting via video conference to discuss the fight against the novel coronavirus. According to sources, the PM stressed in the meeting that the extension of the lockdown was inevitable. Already, several states such as Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana have hinted at extending the lockdown period. As per sources, the Centre will take the final decision on the extension of the nationwide lockdown after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with all the Chief Ministers on April 11.