New Delhi: Looking at the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the country, it is believed that the educational institutions, shopping malls, religious places and public transport will remain shut beyond May 3. The indications to this effect were enough during the three-hour-long meeting of chief ministers with Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier in the day. Also Read - Numerous Automobile Companies go Online to Get Back Customers Amid Lockdown
Government officials are of opinion that limited private vehicles may be allowed to ply in the green-zone districts, but full-scale train and air services are unlikely to start anytime soon. However, depending on the coronavirus situation, the train or air services may operate after mid-May between some designated places. Also Read - Over 79% Major 'Mandis' Operating During Lockdown: Govt
After the meeting with PM Modi, it was almost clear that schools, colleges, shopping malls, religious places and public transport are likely to remain shut while a ban on public and social gatherings is also expected to continue beyond May 3. Also Read - Centre Making Conflicting Statements on Lockdown, There is no Clarity, Alleges Mamata Banerjee
A final decision on lockdown in this regard will be taken during the weekend, officials said on Monday after the meeting on the strategy to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
During the meeting with PM Modi, five chief ministers out of nine strongly pitched for the extension of the ongoing lockdown beyond May 3 while a few advocated a cautious relaxation in curbs with limited activities in COVID-19-free districts. Among them, Odisha, Goa, Meghalaya and a few other states are in favour of extension of the lockdown for a few more weeks, while some states suggested staggered relaxations in ‘green zone’ districts.
During the meeting, PM Modi conveyed that the coronavirus danger is far from over even though India could save thousands of lives by declaring a lockdown at the earliest, but everyone concerned has to maintain a constant vigil.
The officials are of opinion that the decision on the future course of action, beyond May 3, will be taken not before Saturday for sure.
The Union ministry of health and Family Welfare on Monday said that a total of 85 districts in 25 states and Union territories have not reported any fresh COVID-19 case in the last 14 days, and 16 districts have not registered new coronavirus infections in 28 days.
Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal stressed on the need to maintain a vigil at all times so that no new cases surface in more districts. He also urged people not to stigmatise coronavirus patients as that would discourage them from coming forward for treatment at an early stage, leading to a rise in complexities in the treatment.
The Ministry stated that the death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 886 and the number of cases climbed to 28,380 in the country on Monday. A total of 6,361 people have recovered from the disease in the country so far.