New Delhi (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced an extension of the current nationwide lockdown till May 3, claiming social distancing is the only way to pass the "agni pariksha".
He also said the shutdown will be enforced with more strict nature and all states will be evaluated on their performance in containing the outbreak. If any state or its any district is found satisfactory, certain areas may be given conditional reprieve from April 20, said the PM Modi.
Modi stressed that the focus should be not to allow creation of any new hotspots.
The Prime Minister invoked Ambedkar and the reference to ï¿½we the people' in the constitution during his address to the nation to suggest the battle against the coronavirus is a common one. Thanking the people of India, he said that the shutdown has been able to contain the spread of the virus better than many nations. Making a case between economics versus life, the PM said the latter is more important.
"India started screening at airports even before we had one corona positive patient in the country. Even though we had 550 cases, India took a big decision to completely shutdown India. We didn't wait for the problem to erupt," stressed PM Modi.
Making a comparison internationally, the PM said that India is in a far better position than other nations who are battling with thousands of corona positive cases.
As of Tuesday, India has 8,988 active corona cases.