Close schools, all religious activities, extend lockdown: States tell Centre

The feedback taken by the 11 high powered committees, formed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, largely favours the extension of the lockdown to control novel coronavirus outbreak in India.

Anumber of state governments, as well as experts, have requested the Central Government to extend the lockdown, top government sources have said.

The feedback taken by the 11 high powered committees, formed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, largely favours the extension of the lockdown to control novel coronavirus outbreak in India.

The feedback includes closure of complete stoppage of religious activities of all types and kinds, the sources in the government said, adding that states want the restrictions to be applicable to all religions with no relaxation. “School and colleges to be closed till June with no exceptions,” the sources said quoting the feedback from the states and experts.

The states have also requested that all transfers and postings in the government sector must be deferred for six months as it would include mass mobilisation, they said.

Similarly, hotels/restaurants and bars should be under complete lockdown till the situation improves. Public functions like weddings, funerals, corporate town hall meetings should also be under lockdown till the conditions improve, the states have recommended.

The Central government has, however, not made any decision on the extension of the lockdown yet. Speaking at the government’s daily presser, Joint Health Secretary Lav Aggarwal said, “No decision on extending lockdown as yet, please don’t speculate.”

Aggarwal also dismissed several social media/print media reports that had suggested the lockdown will continue in a phased manner.

India is currently under the 21-day lockdown since March 25, with only essential services exempted, to contain the fast-spreading virus.

PM Modi is expected to make a decision on the end of lockdown by this week. For the decision to be unanimous, he has invited suggestions and recommendations from states and various stakeholders, including industry heads. These suggestions are being curated by 11 empowered committees.

As per health ministry data, Covid-19 has claimed 117 lives in India so far. The virus has infect 4,421 people in India. Globally, Covid-19 has claimed more than 75,800 lives and afflicted over 13.5 lakh people across 183 countries.

Source: India Today

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