Blockade in India: the extension of the blockade probably as PM Modi speaks of “national emergency” | India News
“I have been speaking to the chief ministers and the comments from them and the district magistrates being consulted are unanimous that lifting the blockade at once is not advisable. I will speak to the CMs again. But from now on it is clear that lifting the blockade will not be possible. We have to take tough measures to enforce social distancing, ”the prime minister was heard saying in a leaked audio clip of his comments in an interaction via a video link with representatives of political parties. The PMO took a strong exception to the leak, the first, from the clip, but did not question the veracity of Modi’s alleged comments in which he said the situation in the country was similar to the “national emergency.”
Read our coronavirus blog live for the latest news and updates.
Prime Minister Modi said: “We are going through a situation that is like a national emergency and that
It has forced us to take unprecedented action from time to time. Its response to such measures has been positive in accordance with the requirements of national interest. We have to take tougher measures. ”
Coronavirus outbreak: full coverage
Speaking in the context of a debate about the tradeoff between containing the disease and bearing the financial costs of a blockade, the prime minister said saving lives was the top priority.
More about Covid-19
He also said that international experts and global experience did not favor the lifting of the blockade. Significantly, the Prime Minister noted that the leaders of all political parties had also spoken out against the removal of curbs. “As everyone has suggested, it is not advisable to lift the blockade. The removal of the restrictions has to be sequenced and there cannot be a single exit plan, “he said.
Opposition leaders left the government to decide to extend the blockade even when they called for mitigation strategies to address difficulties due to the measures.
Time to mask yourself and stay safe: join TOI’s #MaskIndia campaign
However, the interaction was not without controversy with parts of the leaked video interaction and the PMO stated that this violated the sanctity of the discussions.
“In recent weeks, the Prime Minister has been consulting with a representative sample of eminent leaders and individuals to forge a truly national and unified front against Covid-19. Selective filtering of the content of such consultations, as seen today, runs counter to its spirit and objectives and is avoidable, ”PMO said.
The prime minister’s comments came when some states firmly indicated that the restrictions will remain. Kerala has announced a detailed plan that includes not restoring mass transit links to other parts of the country. Goa announced that the blockade will continue, but then stated that the decision will be made in coordination with the Center.
The meeting took place as a result of the growing conviction among experts, articulated by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), that social distancing was the only bulwark against the virus.
Stressing the importance of social distancing, Modi said: “The situation is changing daily, every hour. Renowned experts and universities from all over the world have struggled to solve the challenge and have decided to stay with the blockade and social distancing, the only option we have. ”
Modi also recently prepared his comments to the cabinet, where he asked the ministries to make plans for a new normal in which the restoration of economic activity should be accompanied by social distancing and other measures, and he told the leaders of the room that there would be a change in work culture and work style.
Several of the 15 opposition leaders, who participated in the meeting, agreed that the safety of lives should not be compromised and it was not advisable to relax the blockade at this juncture.
Hinting at a political consensus on the extension of the blockade, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who participated in the meeting, said: “Most people in today’s meeting favored the extension of the blockade, but let the Prime Minister will take appropriate measures. ” SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav also suggested that the blockade should continue until the coronavirus threat came to an end.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Satish Mishra (BSP), Ram Gopal Yadav (SP), Sudip Bandyopadhyay (TMC), Pinaki Mishra (BJD) and T R Baalu (DMK) were among those attending the meeting. Azad urged the prime minister to implement the suggestions in letters written by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. He also suggested that PPE should be given priority for health workers.
Pawar said that due to the shutdown, many problems had erupted. “It is inevitable to face the pandemic. However, there must be state planning. You should also consider the possibility of a selective closure, without compromising people’s health and livelihood, “suggested the head of the NCP and also referred to the Nizamuddin incident, saying that the entire community should not be blamed.
In video: Covid-19: PM Narendra Modi calls the situation ‘social emergency’, says that the blockade cannot be lifted at once