The central government may announce the extension of the prevailing COVID-19- lockdown soon. It is likely to come today, as the 21-day all-India lockdown, in place since March 25, ends tomorrow. Two days back, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reviewed the current situation with the Chief Ministers of States and Union Territories before he takes the final call on the lockdown. All most all states were for an extension. And, the Prime Minister seems to have acknowledged their views.
However, States like Odisha and Punjab had already extended lockdown in their respective states before the meeting with the Prime Minister on April 11. Besides, West Bengal and Maharashtra did it after the meeting. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, opening the lockdown now may spoil the gains of the 21-day effort. He suggested a pan -India lockdown for effective results.
PM Modi, of course, had hinted about the extension, but he may come up with some changes in the second version of the lockdown. It may have some opening for economic activities. The first version of the lockdown was designed to save lives. But, saving livelihood may get a place in the second version.
“Jaan Hai to Jahan Hai-if there is life there is the world” was Modi’s motto in the first lockdown. But in the meeting with the Chief Ministers, he said, “Jaan bhi, Jahan bhi – also life, also the world.”
As of April 12, there are 9212 positive cases of COVID-19 in India. And, in the last seven days, it is gaining more than 500 cases a day. Yesterday, 758 positive cases joined the tally, while it was 854 the day before.
As per the state-wise growth, Maharashtra is getting more than 150 new cases every day. With 1968 positive cases, this western state hosts the maximum number of positive cases. Following Maharashtra, Delhi has crossed the 1000 mark. Besides, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan are fast approaching the 1000 mark. Madhya Pradesh, Gujurat and Telengana have gone past 500 positive counts.
The COVID-19 figures in the country look alarming, but for the lockdown, it would have been worse. A survey claims, in an open condition, the number could have been 2 lakh by April 10. Experts say curb has managed to contain the Coronavirus spread within the stage –two
In the given situation, the central government is left with little option to decide against the extension.