Prime Minister addresses the Nation
The lockdown due to COVID-19 in India has been extended till May 3. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an address to the nation as the initial 21 day lockdown was due to end on Tuesday. The Prime Minister explained that lockdown as well as social distancing measures have benefitted the country despite the economic costs incurred. India needs to curb the speed of virus and take stricter measures and prevent new hot spots from emerging. He also thanked Indians for abiding by the lockdown despite the hardships many of them endured. Meanwhile, many states like Maharashtra have already announced extensions to the lockdown in their respective states.
Guidelines given to the Citizens
In his address to the nation, the Prime Minister has urged citizens to follow these seven guidelines.
- Take care of elders especially the ones who have existing ailments
- Follow social distancing
- Use homemade masks
- Improve your immunity, download Aarogya setu mobile app
- Help poor families, provide them food
- Be empathetic towards your workers and employees. Do not end their employment
- Corona warriors like doctors, nurses, sanitation workers should be respected.
Rise in COVID-19 Cases
Coronavirus cases in India have sharply increased despite the 21- day lockdown. As of 14th April, the health ministry has reported 10,363 cases of infection and 339 deaths, while 1035 have been cured and discharged. The initial lockdown largely affected the low income households and daily wage earners putting many of them out of work. To combat the sudden economic shock, India had announced a $22.5 billion fiscal stimulus package designed to help poor households through food security and direct cash transfers. Experts say that India’s economy which was already growing at the slowest pace in six years before the pandemic is set to take a major hit from the lockdown.