Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday spoke to the chief ministers of all the states and asked for their opinions on the continuation of the nationwide lockdown to contain the coronavirus, PTI reported. The fourth phase of the lockdown is scheduled to end on May 31.
During their conversation with Shah, the chief ministers of several states said that the lockdown should be extended but with considerable relaxations for economic activities, unidentified officials told Hindustan Times. Shah took note of their suggestions and said they would be taken into consideration.
Unidentified officials from the offices of two chief ministers also told the newspaper that Shah asked them about various activities related to the lockdown, the economy and the status of migrant workers and other stranded people. Shah also asked the chief ministers about their areas of concern and the sectors they want to open from June, according to News18.
This is the first time the home minister individually spoke to the chief ministers just ahead of the end of another phase of the lockdown. Shah had, however, been a part all the videoconferences that Prime Minister Narendra Modi held with the chief ministers to discuss the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
Earlier on Thursday, Cabinet Secretary Rajeev Gauba held a meeting with the municipal commissioners and district magistrates of 13 cities, including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai, that have a huge number of coronavirus cases. These cities account for about 70% of the coronavirus cases in the country.
India is now the ninth worst-hit country by the coronavirus in the world, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. According to the tracker, the country’s tally is 1.65 lakh and toll is 4,711 as of Friday morning. However, according to the Union health ministry’s last update on Thursday morning, India’s total count was 1,58,333.