A day after Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to all chief ministers, seeking their views on extending the ongoing nationwide lockdown beyond 31 May. Home Minister Amit met Prime Minister Narendra Modi today. India recorded the largest spike ever of more than 7,400 Covid-19 cases a day.
The nationwide curbs were first announced by PM Modi on March 24 for 21 days in a bid to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. This was expanded first until 3 May and then again until 17 May. The lockdown was prolonged for the third time until 31 May.
In the run-up to the end of the fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba held a video conference with municipal commissioners and district magistrates of 13 Covid-19 hit cities that have contributed to more than 70% of the cases in the country.
Central government officials said the Cabinet Secretary in the meeting stressed the need to seal the containment areas where the number of cases is maximum and made suggestions from states to agree on the policy as of June 1.
“The cities were advised that the area should be appropriately defined by the district administration and local urban body with technical inputs from the local level,” government officials said.
On Wednesday, the news agency had reported that lockdown could be extended by another two weeks after May 31, but with considerably more relaxation. A senior official in the government told the news agency that the Center is willing to give states more freedom to decide on their post-May 31 lockdown standards.
Going by the demands of the states and the condition of the economy, the Centre had given relaxations the last time it announced a two-week extension of the lockdown on May 17. The government may also allow the reopening of worship places and gyms in lockdown 5.0. Goa and Karnataka Governments have shown interest in opening up the hospitality and hotel market.