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Extension of blockade in India: the blockade will be extended with some measures to restart the economy | India News

NEW DELHI: Although the 21-day blockade appears to be extending, the Center, in consultation with the states, is moving to restart economic activity gradually, marking a major shift in focus in the fight against the pandemic from Covid-19.

Explaining the change in a video conference with the chief ministers on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that while the previous mantra was “jaan hai a jahan hai (if there is life, you can enjoy the world),” the way forward would be guided by “jaan bhi, jahan bhi (both life and our world)”.

He also noted that the CMs had suggested extending the blockade for two weeks.

Right at the beginning of the interaction, the prime minister said the situation “left us with no choice but to extend the blockade for at least two weeks.” Discussions ended with broad agreement on developing norms for greater public movement while continuing with a focused containment strategy for hot spots.

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Although the blockade will last until the end of the month, there will be several measures for a calibrated output, the guidelines of which will be detailed in the next two or three days. Businesses and markets can be allowed to resume in areas that do not have infection or a low incidence of disease. States are likely to designate districts, towns, and cities as red, orange, and green zones (there may also be zoning within cities and towns) to allow for differentiated restoration of normal life, with conditions such as wearing masks and social distancing in public places.

The Center and the states are moving to restart economic activity gradually, although the current blockade appears to extend beyond April 14. However, areas containing Covid-19 hot spots will still not see any restoration of economic activity.

“There will be some experimentation to jump-start the economy after a three-week lockdown,” said an official source.

The government is considering a proposal to allow units that can accommodate employees on its campuses to function after authorities are satisfied with meeting social distancing requirements. Harvesting operations have already been exempt and state governments are being pushed to go to villages to buy the harvested crop directly from farmers so there is no overcrowding in the mandis.

In his interaction with the chief ministers on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed the importance of the next 3-4 weeks to determine the impact of measures taken to contain the virus, a government statement said. “While asking for closure, I said life comes first and emphasized the importance of closure and social distancing to save our citizens. Most people appreciated this and relieved themselves of their responsibility by staying home and helping save lives. Now, for For a brighter future and a healthy and prosperous India, we must focus on both ‘jaan’ and ‘jahan’, “he said at the meeting, which was marked by strong consensus in favor of an aggressive response to the emergency. public health.

Earlier this week, the Prime Minister told political party leaders that the elimination of “stay at home” curbs would have to be phased in and, furthermore, that there could be no single exit plan for the entire county. Modi’s discussions with the CMs saw no major divergence in approaches, as most CMs agreed that the blockade had been beneficial while increasing the demand for financial assistance.

In fact, the CMs in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Delhi proactively supported a prolonged blockade. Sources said there was no plan at this time for the prime minister to make a televised address to the nation.

The plans being considered include special regulations for industrial municipalities that will have strict entry and exit regulations and internal transportation for workers. These areas will be subject to sanitation strategies, such as the use of disinfection tunnels in factories and plants and reworked work shifts.

In areas where markets may reopen, there may be an alternate-day schedule, and larger mandis may see restrictions on the number of people that can be present at any one time. Similarly, states may consider limited transportation restoration, at least within districts and cities, to begin with. Inter-district travel may not be allowed immediately, and inter-state travel and the restoration of train and airline services are not on the table.

Central government offices will start operating again starting Monday, and there are suggestions to restart public services through increased use of electronic tokens and hourly appointments that will reduce overcrowding in banks and other public service companies such as municipal offices and administrative. The guidelines for the agricultural sector are already in place and further instructions on moving the supply chain can be expected. There will also be relaxation for flood control activities.

During interaction with senior ministers, the prime minister said the combined effort of the Center and states had helped reduce the impact of Covid-19, but the situation required constant vigilance.

According to a statement, Modi assured that India had adequate supplies of essential drugs and said that steps were being taken to ensure the availability of protective equipment and critical equipment. He warned against black marketing and hoarding. “Condemning and expressing anguish over cases of attacks on doctors and medical staff, and incidents of misconduct with students from the northeast and Kashmir, the prime minister said such cases should be dealt with firmly,” the statement said.

Times of India