New Delhi: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Saturday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lift the ongoing 21-day nationwide lockdown from areas not affected by coronavirus, in a stand that is completely different from that taken by most Chief Ministers who attended the meet with PM Modi. Also Read - 'Because of Their Habits...': Andhra Deputy CM Blames Tablighi Jamaat For COVID-19 Spread
Notably, with the lockdown, which was announced by the Prime Minister on March 24, scheduled to end on April 14, a video conference was chaired by PM Modi yesterday, which was attended by several Chief Ministers. The meet was held to discuss the issue of lockdown extension due to a sharp spike in COVID-19 cases in the country. Also Read - Coronavirus: Amid Lockdown, Telangana Woman Rides Scooty to Bring Back Son From Andhra Pradesh
In the meet, most CMs opined that the lockdown should be fully extended, at least until month end. Also Read - Immunity Boosting Diet: Here's What Is Being Served at Andhra Pradesh's Quarantine Centres
The Andhra Pradesh CM, however, stressed the the lockdown should continue only in ‘red zone’ clusters identified in the state. Of the 676 ‘mandals’ in the state, positive COVID-19 cases were found only in 81, he informed the Prime Minister.
“Of the 676 mandals in the state, 37 have been declared as red zones and 44 as orange zones. The lockdown should continue in these zones and lifted from the remaining 595, but with restrictions. Malls, cinema halls, places of worship, public transport and schools should remain closed, and physical distancing should be strictly maintained,” the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) quoted him as saying in a press release.
Jagan Reddy, however, maintained that whatever decision shall be supported and implemented in the state.
Andhra Pradesh has thus far recorded over 400 confirmed cases of coronavirus, including six deaths.
The Centre is yet to officially announced the extension of lockdown. Six state governments have, however, already extended the lockdown in their respective states till month-end.