NEW DELHI: As lockdown 4.0 is about to end on Sunday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and informed him about the views of all chief ministers on the extension of the ongoing nationwide lockdown beyond May 31.
Shah dialled up CMs on Thursday, for the first time, and sought to know the areas of concern of the states and the sectors they want to open up further from June 1, according to officials as reported by a news agency.
The home minister briefed the PM about the suggestions and the feedback he received from the chief ministers during his telephonic conversations.
The central government is expected to announce its decision on the lockdown within the next two days.
The nationwide curbs were first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 for 21 days in a bid to contain the spread of novel coronavirus. It was first extended till May 3 and then again till May 17. The lockdown was further extended till May 31.
The number of COVID-19 cases in India has climbed to 1,65,799 on Friday, making it the world’s ninth worst-hit country by the coronavirus pandemic. The Health Ministry said the death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 4,706 in the country.
While extending the fourth phase of the lockdown till May 31, the central government had announced the continuation of prohibition on opening of schools, colleges and malls but allowed opening of shops and markets. It said hotels, restaurants, cinema halls, malls, swimming pools, gyms will remain shut even as all social, political, religious functions, and places of worship will remain closed till May 31. The government, however, allowed limited operations of train and domestic flights. The Indian Railways is also running ‘”special Shramik trains” since May 1 for transportation of migrant workers from different parts of the country to their native states.