Reethu, a story teller, a person often found between the pages of a book or contemplating the nuances of life.
The 21-day nationwide lockdown which is slated to end on April 14, at least seven states on Monday, April 6, expressed that the restrictions will continue even after the lockdown ends.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to extend the lockdown and said it was essential to save the lives of people.
"I am for the lockdown of the country furthermore after April 15. Because we can recover from the economic problem. But, we cannot recover lives. We cannot recover the lives of the people," Rao told reporters.
"I appeal to the honourable Prime Minister, to the Government of India, please extend the lockdown without any hesitation," he said. "Consult everybody, consult every Chief Minister, have a video conference with the entire country, but take a conscious decision. Because we have no other weapon in India to contain this dreadful virus."
Meanwhile, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, UP, Assam, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand said that they may not fully lift the restrictions.
Assam is planning to start a registration system to control those who enter the state after the lockdown. Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that a temporary system would be started, through which even permanent residents will need permits to enter the state.
"Depending on the Centre's directive, we will launch a website for registration is 3-4 days. If someone wishes to return to Assam, they will have to first register themselves. This will also give us an idea of the number of people living outside the state. If a lockdown is extended, we will have to think about them," said Sarma.
"The state government must have the arrangement to facilitate their return when lockdown ends. On April 15, we can allow 5,000 people, another 5,000 after two days, and this pattern could be followed depending on the number of people who are willing to get back home. But if they don't follow the system, all measures undertaken so far to contain the spread will go waste," he added.
Indicating a possible extension in lockdown, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope told reporters, "No one should be under the impression of the complete lifting of lockdown from April 15 onwards. The situation between April 10 to 15 will be closely analysed before taking a decision on the lockdown."
Rajasthan is working on a staggered exit strategy and has set up a committee to formulate the same. "It could be zones where there is already a flare-up or a probability of a flare-up later," a senior official told The Indian Express.
Furthermore, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren said the lockdown will be lifted in the state only after the government is satisfied that the situation is under control.
"Around 6 lakh labourers will come to the state once the lockdown is lifted… Fortunately, rural areas constitute more than 80 per cent of Jharkhand and those are already isolated, and the population is not dense. The only workable solution with us right now is to make people aware of COVID-19. And we have to be ready with all medical facilities," he told the media.
Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and requested him to initiate interstate traffic after "extensive deliberation."
"If after April 14, trains, air traffic and interstate road transport get started in the country, then there are full possibilities that COVID-19 infected people can arrive from other states in the state of Chhattisgarh. The state may face new difficulties," the CM said in his letter.
In Lucknow, the state government said that the lockdown will continue until there are no more cases of the virus in the state. "We will remain under lockdown till even a single case of COVID-19 is present in the state," India Today quoted additional Chief Secretary Home-Information, Avneesh Awasthi as saying.
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