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Coronavirus outbreak: PM Modi hints at extension of lockdown beyond April 14

BusinessToday.In     April 8, 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that lifting of lockdown which ends on April 14 looks unlikely. India is currently under a 21-day lockdown which was announced by the government on March 24 in view of rising coronavirus pandemic. Narendra Modi hinted at possible lockdown extension in an all-party meeting today via video conference in which he discussed the current situation, an India Today report said. Narendra Modi has already interacted with the chief ministers of various states to discuss the rising spread of COVID-19. Another meeting is scheduled for coming Saturday.

The other issues raised in the all-party meeting included the release of pending dues to the states, relaxation of the fiscal limit of states under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act from 3 per cent to 5 per cent and making COVID-19 tests free. The opposition leaders also asked the prime minister to increase the stimulus package from 1 per cent to 5 per cent of GDP. There was also a discussion over making quality personal protective equipment (PPE) and other protective equipment kits available.

On Tuesday Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi suggested the government various austerity measures so as to free up funds for fighting the deadly virus. She also conveyed support to the government in fighting the coronavirus pandemic in the country. The number of positive COVID-19 cases in India currently stands just over 5,000. Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government has completely sealed 15 coronavirus-hit districts until April 13. The order comes into effect from April 8-midnight. People will not be allowed to step out of their homes for essential services and the same will be delivered to the homes, the local authorities said on Wednesday.

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