NEW DELHI, April 11 - Asserting that fight against novel coronavirus will be strengthened as long as every citizen of the country fulfils responsibilities and follows lockdown instructions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said there seems to be a consensus among the states on extension of the lockdown by another two weeks.
The Prime Minister said this while interacting with the chief ministers via video conference about the strategy to tackle COVID-19. Several states requested the Prime Minister to extend the lockdown for two more weeks.
Modi, meanwhile, condemning and expressing distress at the instances of attacks on doctors and medical staff, and at incidents of misbehaviour with students from the Northeast and Kashmir, underlined that such cases need to be dealt with firmly.
The Prime Minister highlighted the importance of the lockdown and adherence to social distancing in saving people�s lives. He observed that the combined effort of the Centre and the states has reduced the impact of COVID-19, but, since the situation is rapidly evolving, constant vigilance is of paramount importance.
The Prime Minister also emphasised the criticality of coming three to four weeks in determining the impact of the virus. He categorically assured that India has adequate supplies of essential medicines, while adding that measures are being taken to ensure availability of protective gear and critical equipment for all frontline workers.
About the economic challenges, the Prime Minister said that the crisis is an opportunity to become self-reliant. He also gave a stern message against black marketing and hoarding.
During the conference, the chief ministers gave feedback about the COVID-19 positive cases in their respective states. They also discussed steps taken to maintain social distancing, ramp up healthcare infrastructure, mitigate difficulties of migrants and maintain supply of essentials.
Meanwhile, the Union Home Ministry has sought views of state governments on various aspects, including whether more categories of people and services need to be exempted as in the current lockdown only essential services are exempted.
This is for the second time the Prime Minister has interacted with the chief ministers via video link after the lockdown was imposed. During his April 2 interaction with the chief ministers, Modi had pitched for a �staggered� exit from the ongoing lockdown.