"We can look at some relaxations post April 20 in places where no new cases are seen - with very strict conditions," PM Modi said
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 14 announced an extension of the coronavirus-led lockdown until May 3 and relaxations, if any, would be considered from April 20 in areas where no new cases are seen.
"Even tougher measures to be instituted till April 20. The next one week in this fight against COVID-19 we will be more stringent in our actions. Every district, every tehsil, every city will be assessed on the preparedness and containment. We can look at some relaxations post-April 20 in places where no new cases are seen - with very strict conditions," he said.
"Even if one more new case in local areas should be a cause of concern. We have to be extra vigilant with respect to current infection hotspots and the new emerging ones. We need to be even more careful in hotspots, even those areas that can convert to hotspots we will have to take strong steps to stop spread," PM Modi said.
"We cannot be careless and can't let anyone else be careless. Daily earners and daily wagers to get some relaxation’s post April 20. The conditional relaxations starting April 20, is being given to provide relief to the poor. These relaxations in some places are in keeping view of the daily wagers and their issues," he added.
Addressing the nation, PM Modi said, "We cannot imagine what the situation would have been had we not taken measures early. It has become clear that the path we have chosen is the most effective. Lockdown and social distancing have benefitted the country. It is expensive from an economic point of view."
"The way coronavirus is spreading, it has cautioned health experts and governments even more. How do we emerge victorious? How do we lessen the damage? We have discussed this with the states. All, even citizens, have suggested that the lockdown be extended," he added.
The initial 21-day lockdown began on midnight of March 24 and was supposed to end on April 14. It was imposed to fight the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus or COVID-19, which has claimed over 1,19,600 lives across the world.
The lockdown extension comes after the prime minister held a video conference with state chief ministers on April 11, many of whom favoured an extension to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Addressing floor leaders of various parties who have representation in Parliament, on April 8, Prime Minister Modi had made it clear that the lockdown cannot be lifted in one go on April 14, asserting that the priority of his government is to "save each and every life".
According to an official statement, the PM said that district administrations and experts have suggested an extension of the lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.
Also Read: Coronavirus state-wise tally April 14
Even before the PM's announcement, Odisha on April 9 has taken a lead and has extended the lockdown till April 30, and Punjab on April 10 followed suit and extended the lockdown till May 1. The Maharashtra government on April 11 decided to extend the ongoing lockdown period until April 30 as the state is seeing a continuous rise in COVID-19 cases.
Mumbai alone has registered more than 2,334 cases, as per the COVID-19 Monitoring Dashboard set up by the Public Health Department, Government of Maharashtra.
Total confirmed COVID-19 cases in India have risen to 10,363, according to the latest update from the Union Health Ministry. This number includes cases involving foreign nationals, patients who have recovered and the death toll.