Tamil Nadu on Saturday decided to extend the nationwide lockdown, due to end on April 14 till April 30 as 58 more covid19 cases were reported, taking the total to 969 and number of dead to ten. Among the affected were eight doctors, four each from Government and private hospitals.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami took the decision after a Cabinet meeting at the Secretariat in the evening to discuss the points raised during the conference Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with all Chief Ministers earlier in the day.
Palanisami told the Prime Minister that the lockdown should be extended all over the country as extension at State levels as demanded by many Chief Ministers would not serve the purpose, In this he echoed the view of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
While Chief Ministers of Orissa, Maharashtra, Punjab and a few other States on their own announced their decision to extend the lockdown, Tamil Nadu’s Edappadi K Palanisami while deciding in principle on extension sought a formal nod from Modi.
He also asked the Union Health Ministry to identity hotspots or clusters in each State. He suggested that Tamil Nadu be divided into three zones so that the lockdown could be enforced strictly where the incidence of cases was high and restrictions could be eased in a phased manner in other regions. With the number cases increasing at a rapid rate, Tamil Nadu ranks second after Maharashtra in the country.
Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanaswamy also favoured extension of the lockdown. He said however he would go along with Tamil Nadu and take a formal decision on April 14. He said so far six cases had been recorded and they had also been isolated.
He told reporters that that he had also special assistance from the Centre to tide over the economic crisis to protect the unorganized workers, small traders and farm labourers.
He said special package was sought even from BJP ruled States. However, Modi during the conference did not touch upon this request.