Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that the nationwide lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus will be extended till May 3, and any decision on easing restrictions in parts of the country would be taken after April 20. "After taking into account all suggestions, we have decided to extend the lockdown till May 3," PM Modi said in his 22-minute address.
Here are the highlights of PM Modi's address to the nation:
"India will have to extend the lockdown till May 3".
"We must ensure that new hotspots do not spring up. Hotspots will see enhanced lockdown measures. For this, the nation will face stricter lockdown measures till April 20".
"Essential activities may be allowed in areas which show improvement after April 20 in coronavirus fight."
"Need your support in seven things: Take care of those vulnerable in the family. Secondly, follow the lockdown rules, social distancing norms. Thirdly, make sure you take measures to boost your immunity suggested by Ayush Ministry. Fourth, download Arogya Setu app. Fifth, help the poor, ensure provisions for them. Sixthly, show empathy against those working with you, don't fire people. Lastly, those at the forefront in fight against coronavirus - doctors, health officials, policemen... respect them."
"Easing the difficulty of poor people, farmers is among my top priorities."
"The country has benefited from social distancing and lockdown. Yes, we had to pay a price but that's not more important than the lives of Indians."
"India didn't wait for the crisis to aggravate. Many developed nations are facing challenges in fighting against the spread... statistics are a proof".
"You people have helped save the nation. I am aware of the challenges you all are facing. Some of you are away from home, others are finding challenges in getting food, other essentials. I bow to all of you."
"Our resolve to fight the pandemic is true tribute to Baba Saheb Ambedkar. The country has shown 'we the people of India' spirit during lockdown."
"I pray for the good health of your family."