On Wednesday, Punjab became the first state in the country to extend the lockdown in the state post-May 3. Addressing the people of Punjab, CM Captain Amarinder Singh announced that the lockdown and curfew in the state would be extended by 2 weeks till May 17. This comes even as no decision has been taken pertaining to the extension of the nationwide lockdown. At the same time, Singh stated that the lockdown would be lifted from 7 am to 11 am every day beginning from April 30.
During this period, people can come out of their houses and registered shops except in single-brand and multi-brand malls will be allowed to open with 50% worker strength. However, this relaxation would be applicable only to non-containment and non-Red zones. Strict social distancing measures shall have to be followed.
#WATCH Lockdown will be lifted from 7 am to 11 am every day; during this time people can come out of their houses and shops will be opening. Also, we have decided to extend the curfew in the state by two more weeks: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/tHTaE22NYB— ANI (@ANI) April 29, 2020
Currently, there are 31,332 confirmed novel coronavirus cases in India out of which 7,696 persons have recovered while 1007 casualties have been reported. On Monday, PM Modi interacted with the Chief Ministers of states to discuss the ongoing situation pertaining to the COVID-19 crisis and the plan ahead. He had held similar interactions with the CMs on March 20, April 2 and April 11. Underling that the lockdown had yielded positive results saving thousands of lives in the last one and a half months, he noted that the danger of the virus was far from over. He stated that masks and face covers will become a part of everyone's lives in the days to come. Furthermore, the PM maintained that it was equally necessary to give importance to the economy as well.
Also, he called upon the states to direct their efforts towards converting the Red zones into Orange and thereafter to Green zones. Regarding the issue of evacuating citizens stuck abroad, PM Modi said that this had to be done keeping in mind factors such as their inconvenience and a potential risk to their families. He requested the CMs to strategise ahead looking at the advent of summer and monsoon and the illnesses associated with these seasons. Meanwhile, the CMs praised the leadership of the PM during this period of crisis and discussed issues such as keeping a close vigil on international borders, addressing the economic challenge and boosting health infrastructure. The respective CMs also expressed gratitude towards the police force and medical professionals for their exemplary role in the fight against COVID-19.