Lockdown May be Extended Beyond 14th April
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The 21- days lockdown imposed by government of India may be extended as India has been unable to bend the curve; the number of COVID-19 cases have multiplied within no time. It took 9 weeks for India to reach from 1 Coronavirus case to 2500 cases, but it took only 6 days for India to reach 5000 Coronavirus case from 2500. India has already reported 127 deaths related to Coronavirus.
A lot of state governments as well as experts have approached Central government to extend the lockdown at least for a week or two. Recently Prime Minister had called upon chief ministers of Indian states to come up with a strategy towards a “staggered exit” from the lockdown. However, many states apparently felt that implementation would be challenging, especially when coronavirus cases are still rising.
India has been able to keep the spread of Coronavirus cases under its check. However, it must be remember that initially countries like Italy, USA and Spain too had a lower number of COVID-19 cases but due to absence of social distancing as there was no lockdown numbers of cases including affected and the death rose up and these countries are still struggling to keep the Coronavirus cases under check. India has been lucky enough to keep the virus under check until the Tablighi Jamaat incident happened. Nearly one third of the cases in the country are linked to the Tablighi gathering. Many states are still to complete contact tracing associated with the Tablighi Jamaat cluster.
Why Lockdown May be extended?
It must be noted that Cabinet Secretary Rajeev Gauba had a week ago denied that there were any plans to extend the lockdown. There has been rumours of Government discussing with the industries about the continuity of business and gradual lifting of economic curbs. The main business centres of the country, Mumbai and Delhi, are the worst hit by COVID-19. In a recent address to people of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray requested people to use mask and stay at home. He said, “we don’t have any other options.”
The India Inc had already submitted a business continuity plan amid the continuation of lockdown beyond 14th April. It has pitched for Rs. 2 lakh crore revival fund and also gave a plan to use special transport to get migrant workers back to factories.
Amid the ongoing lockdown, the supply chain of essential commodities seems to have normalised so government may not find it difficult to extend the lockdown for another week or two. Several state governments have also issued a statement about the possibility of extension of lockdown. Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao said though the country’s economy would suffer because of lockdown, it can be revived by working hard and by making sacrifices over next six months to one year. “We can revive the economy but not the dead. The human life is the most precious,” he said.
Worldwide coronavirus confirmed cases have crossed 14 lakhs with USA leading the chart with over 4 lakhs confirmed cases. More than 80,000 people have already lost their lives due to COVID-19. In our prediction platform around 80% of respondents are confident that Prime Minister Modi may call for extension of lockdown after 14th of April.
Extension of lockdown may hit the already suffering Indian economy badly. However, economy can be revived but not the lives. Air India has already cancelled all the booking upto April end, even the Indian railways has cancelled it trains for the same period. If not complete lockdown, nation needs to prepare itself for next phase of at least partial lockdown. Prime Minister Modi will be conducting a video conferance call with Chief Ministers of all the states on 11th of April and may discuss about the future course of actions to be taken to fight agianst Coronavirus.