Home/ News / India/  Covid-19 lockdown: PM Modi to address the nation on 14 April

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation on Tuesday, his fourth address in a month, when he is expected to announce an extension of the lockdown for another two weeks against the backdrop of a surge in covid-19 cases in the country. India has so far reported 9,100 cases of covid-19, with deaths at 308.

“Prime Minister @narendramodi will address the nation at 10 AM on 14th April 2020," a Twitter post from Modi’s official handle said.

The post comes amid speculation that the Centre may extend the lockdown, scheduled to end on 14 April, following requests from Punjab, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, among others, allowing limited economic activity in areas that are covid-19 free and in industries that follow social distancing norms.

Punjab on Friday extended the covid-19 lockdown to 1 May, after a decision by the state cabinet. It is the second state to do so after Odisha, which has extended the lockdown till 30 April.

Modi on Saturday had held a video-conference with chief ministers of all states, his third such interaction, during which he signalled a shift in India's strategy to fight the coronavirus pandemic, with a renewed focus on ‘jaan’ (life) and ‘jahaan’ (livelihood).

In a statement to chief ministers at the meeting, he said a shift has to be made to ensure that lives are saved along with livelihoods.

“Our mantra earlier was ‘jaan hai to jahaan hai’ (if there's a life, there's a world) but now is ‘jaan bhi, jahaan bhi," (we need a life, we need the world too)" Modi told state chief ministers according to a union government statement. The PM's statement implies that the government's strategy would now not just be focusing on saving lives but also kickstarting the economy.

Hinting at a decentralised strategy ahead, Modi had discussed India’s lockdown plan with the chief ministers that could involve dividing areas into green, orange and red zones.

This significant shift in striking a balance between lives and livelihoods comes in the backdrop of increasing demand by several state governments to provide more economic and resource assistance.

On Tuesday, Modi could announce new guidelines for the lockdown balancing the suggestions from chief ministers for the start of limited economic activity and the need to keep a lid on the rate of infections in the country through an aggressive containment strategy.

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Updated: 13 Apr 2020, 03:19 PM IST
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