Lockdown Will Stay In Red Zones; Push "Do Gaz Doori", Says PM: 10 Points

Coronavirus Lockdown: Sources said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked all states to prepare their plan on exiting the lockdown by demarcating districts as red, green and orange based on the level of infection.

Coronavirus: Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with Chief Ministers

Highlights

  • PM said lockdown could extend beyond May 3 in hotspots
  • He assured chief ministers saying that "economy is good"
  • But people in districts with less cases will have to wear masks
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi indicated today that the coronavirus lockdown could continue beyond May 3 in parts of the country worst affected by the pandemic a.k.a hotspots or "red zones". In a video meeting with Chief Ministers, PM Modi called for an exit plan from each state based on red, orange and green coding of districts according to the number of COVID-19 cases. But even as the districts with fewer cases reopened for business, the PM said, masks and "Do gaz doori (six feet apart)" would continue to be a way of life for times to come. Addressing worries that the extended lockdown would come at a great cost, the Prime Minister told the Chief Ministers: "There is no need to worry on the economy front, our economy is good."

Here are the top 10 updates on this big story:

  1. PM Modi reportedly told nine Chief Ministers that the lockdown had saved thousands of lives in the past one and a half months.

  2. "We have to give importance to the economy as well as continue the fight against COVID-19," PM Modi told Chief Ministers.

  3. Economic activities are likely to reopen in orange and green districts, which have far fewer cases or none.

  4. States, said the PM, must make efforts to covert red zones into orange and then into green zones.

  5. Private cars may be allowed with restrictions but the ban on public transport, including trains, flights and buses, is likely to continue.

  6. Schools and colleges are likely to stay shut and the ban on religious meetings and congregations will also continue.

  7. Five of nine Chief Ministers at the meeting said the lockdown should end, while the rest were in favour of extending it for the sake of controlling the spread of COVID-19.

  8. Among those who favoured continuing the lockdown were Odisha, Meghalaya and Goa. Odisha asked for a month's extension of the restrictions.

  9. "Green zones will be opened, relaxations in sectors have been agreed to but the mindset of lockdown will continue. We should get people ready with new norms like social distancing," said Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma after the meeting.

  10. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan skipped the meeting and sent the Chief Secretary to represent the state.