Prime Minister Narendra Modi held his fifth meeting with chief ministers of all states on the coronavirus situation in India, with focus on a strategy for a phased exit from the nationwide lockdown. Modi told chief ministers to provide a blueprint by May 15 as to how their states plan to deal with the lockdowns post May 17.

Modi said the focus of the strategy is to overcome the “twinfold challenge” to reduce transmission rate and increase public activity gradually, while adhering to guidelines, according to the Prime Minister’s Office. “I am of the firm view that the measures needed in the first phase of lockdown were not needed during the second phase and similarly the measures needed in the third phase are not needed in the fourth,” he told the chief ministers.

The meeting was Modi’s fifth consultation with chief ministers since a nationwide lockdown was imposed. The lockdown, imposed first on March 25 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, was to end on May 3. However, it will now end on May 17 after another extension.

The six-hour meeting began via videoconferencing at 3 pm, and also focussed on the revival of the economy. During the meeting, the chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Chhattisgarh opposed the resumption of railway services. Limited rail services will restart on Tuesday.

Modi told chief ministers that the world has fundamentally changed post the coronavirus pandemic, just like it did after the World Wars. He also said that everybody should plan for a “new reality”. Until a vaccine is found for Covid-19, the best way of controlling the spread of the pandemic would be physical distancing, he added.

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The prime minister said he sees potential for domestic tourism, but the contours will have to be worked out.

“We now have reasonably clear indication as to the geographical spread of the pandemic in India, including the worst affected areas,” Modi said. “Moreover, over the past few weeks, officials have understood operating procedures in a time such as this, right up to the district level.”

The country recorded 67,152 coronavirus cases on Monday, with 2,206 deaths. This was the biggest single-day jump with 4,213 infections in 24 hours.