Prime Minister Modi in his address to nation today announced the extension of nationwide lockdown till May 3.
Address to the nation. https://t.co/26sVP2br5n— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 14, 2020
Thanking for cooperation
PM Modi began his address by thanking the people of India for following the guidelines and helping in containing the pandemic. “It is because of your sacrifices that we in India have managed to contain the contagion. I know many faced problems with shortage of food and not being able to move around. But because of the greater good, you continued to march ahead like a dedicated and disciplined soldier of India. The ‘We the people’ we talk about in our Constitution is this,” PM Modi said.
Lives matter more than economic loss
PM Modi said that while the lockdown has been expensive and an added burden on economy, it is insignificant against the precious lives of the countrymen. “The way India is moving forward with limited means, that is being lauded across the world,” PM Modi said. PM Modi said that he had a word with the chief ministers of states and suggestions also poured in from citizens to extend the lockdown. “Many states have already announced extension of lockdown. Hence, after weighing all options, it has been decided that the lockdown should be extended till 3rd May,” PM Modi announced.
Lockdown extension till May 3
“Till 3rd May, everyone must stay home and maintain discipline. We must ensure that till 3rd May coronavirus does not spread to any new region which does not have any positive case. If more people test positive in local areas, then it is a cause of concern for us. Hence, we must be more careful regarding hotspots. Identified hotspots should be more careful and those areas which have a possibility of turning into hotspots should be more alert. Newer hotspots will be a challenge to our efforts,” PM Modi said.
The 1-week test
PM Modi further said that the restrictions will be even more stringent in coming week. “Till April 20, every area, district, city, state will be keenly observed and checked how the lockdown is being followed. We will see how they have tried to save themselves from spreading coronavirus. Whichever area succeeds in this 1-week test, will get some conditional relief and relaxation. Some important and essential movements may be allowed in these areas after 20th,” PM Modi said.
“The poor and needy like daily wage earners are the most affected and I am most concerned about them. My first priority is to ease their lives. The new guidelines will cover them. This is also the season of harvest for Rabi crops. The central and state governments will work together so that farmers do not face any problem,” PM Modi said.
Invoking Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar on his birth anniversary, PM Modi said that the collective effort of the citizens and the dedication is the true tribute to him. A lot of states and cultures celebrate various festivals today. PM Modi thanked them for celebrating them at home and not stepping out. PM Modi said that India started airport screening when there were not a single coronavirus positive case in India. And announced a 21-day lockdown when there were about 550 cases. “Because India did not wait for situation to worsen, we took decisive action to stop the conditions to worsen,” PM Modi said.
Support and commitment
Urging the citizens to keep their patience and strength, PM Modi asked for support in seven things. He urged the people to take extra care of the elders in the homes especially those who have a prior illness as they are more susceptible to coronavirus. “Second thing, make sure the social distancing is maintained during the extended lockdown. Do not step out of the house without a mask. Third, follow guidelines issued by Ayush Ministry to improve your immunity. Download the Aarogya Setu app to help contain the coronavirus pandemic. Try to help as many poor people as you could. Do not terminate your employees in such time and finally, respect the frontline workers who are fighting the pandemic like the doctors, nurses, healthcare staff, policemen,” PM Modi said.