Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation at 8 pm on Tuesday, a day after his meeting with the chief ministers to discuss the strategy for lifting the nationwide lockdown, imposed to control the coronavirus pandemic.
This will be the prime minister’s third address to the nation on the coronavirus crisis. His last address was on April 14, where he had announced the extension of the lockdown till May 3. Earlier this month, the government again extended the nationwide lockdown till May 17, with relaxations in non-containment zones.
At his meeting with the chief ministers on Monday, Modi had asked them to provide a blueprint by May 15 as to how their states plan to deal with the lockdown post May 17. He had added that the focus of the strategy should be overcome the “twinfold challenge” to reduce transmission rate of the coronavirus and increase public activity gradually, while adhering to guidelines.
The chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Chhattisgarh had opposed the resumption of railway services. The chief ministers of Bihar, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh suggested that the lockdown should be extended. The prime minister had also hinted that the lockdown would continue, but with less restrictions.
On Sunday, the government announced the resumption of passenger trains, suspended since the nationwide lockdown was imposed in March. Fifteen special passenger trains will run to and from Delhi from Tuesday. Apart from that, the Centre is running special trains for migrant workers and also bringing back Indian citizens stranded abroad.
The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 70,756 and the toll climbed to 2,293, according to the Union health ministry’s Tuesday morning update.