India

Lockdown extension by 2 weeks inevitable: Karnataka CM (Ld)

Bengaluru, April 11 (IANS) The 21-day lockdown to contain Covid-19 spread would be extended by 2 weeks from April 15 in Karnataka too, said Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Saturday.

“In the prevailing circumstances, it has become inevitable to extend the lockdown by 15 days more to break the chain of coronavirus,” Yediyurappa told reporters here after a 4-hour marathon meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi through video conference.

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Asserting that lockdown would be implemented strictly, Yediyurappa said Modi would announce the lockdown extension from April 15-30 in a nationwide address at 8p.m. on Saturday.

“The Prime Minister has received suggestions from chief ministers of all states across the country to extend the lockdown till April 30, as the next 2-3 weeks are critical to overcome the pandemic crisis,” said Yediyurappa.

Hinting that agricultural and industrial sectors would be given relaxation rules, the Chief Minister said the Centre would issue in 2-3 days guidelines to be followed during the lockdown extension to ensure supply of essentials and revival of production.

“We must not compromise on lockdown because if the situation worsens, we have to face the consequences as a nation,” Yediyurappa cited Modi as telling the chief ministers during the interaction.

The Prime Minister also hinted that lockdown would be lifted after April 30 in a graded manner to ensure the country passes through the virus crisis with minimal loss of life and damage to the economy.

Claiming to be doing well with everything under control, Yediyurappa earlier said Modi also gave tips to deal with lockdown in force since March 25 to contain the virus spread in the state.

“We are doing well and everything is in control to fight Covid. The Prime Minister gave suggestions to deal with the lockdown situation,” tweeted Yediyruppa in Kannada after his interaction with Modi.

State cabinet ministers also attended Yediyurappa's video conference with Modi on steps to be taken to contain the pandemic after the 21-day lockdown ends on April 14.

“We discussed vital strategies and actions to implement in our state. We will do everything in our control to tackle the crisis. Measures to control the infection were also discussed,” he said in another tweet.

The Chief Minister also urged the people to stay home and maintain social distancing to get out of the Covid trouble.

–IANS

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