Nitish Kumar wants lockdown to be extended till May 31 as Covid cases spike in Bihar
By Gyanendra Keshri
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to extend the lockdown till the end of this month as Covid positive cases spiked in the state with the return of stranded migrant workers from different parts of the country.
In a virtual interaction with the prime minister held on Monday, Kumar said the extension of lockdown would help Bihar in taking better care of the people who have returned to the state from different cities of the country due to the lockdown.
“Our suggestion is that the lockdown should be extended until the end of this month,” Bihar chief minister said. However, he added that the government of Bihar would agree with whatever decision the centre will take about the lockdown. The third phase of the lockdown that began on May 4 is scheduled to end on May 17. The nationwide lockdown was imposed from mid night of March 24-25.
Prime Minister Modi also gave indication of extending the lockdown beyond May 17. However, he said that the approach would be different. This means while in all probability the lockdown are set to be extended beyond May 17 there will be focus on gradual opening of the economic activities. “I am of the firm view that the measures needed in the first phase of lockdown were not needed during the 2nd phase and similarly the measures needed in the 3rd Phase are not needed in the fourth,” Modi said.
To discuss the lockdown and other Covid related issues Prime Minister hosted video conferencing interaction with chief ministers of all states and UTs. This was the fifth such meeting since March 20.
During the meeting states were divided on the issue of opening of the economic activities. Besides Bihar several other states like Maharashtra, Punjab, Telangana and West Bengal also demanded for extension of the lockdown. However, the states like Gujarat, Odisha, Karnataka and Delhi wanted the resumption of economic activities.
During the meeting Bihar Chief Minister demanded that the centre should provide more ventilators and PPE kits to the state as Covid positive cases are on the rise.
Kumar said more than a lakh people returned to Bihar between May 4 and May 10 and 179 more trains would come to the state in the next 7 days. “It is expected that close to 2.5 lakh people will reach the state. More and more people are requesting to come back. So, we request to further increase the number of trains and also suggest to deploy buses for people wanting to come back from nearby places,” he said.
Speaking in the meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought to make a balance between the need of reducing the transmission rate of Covid-19 disease and opening of the economic activities.
“We have a twofold challenge – to reduce the transmission rate of the disease, and to increase public activity gradually, while adhering to all the guidelines, and we will have to work towards achieving both these objectives,” Modi said.
Prime Minister pointed out that the world has fundamentally changed post COVID-19. Now the World will be Pre-Corona, Post-Corona just like the case of the World Wars. And this would entail significant changes in how we function.
Modi gave a new slogan “Jan Se lekar Jag Tak” which means ‘from an individual to the whole of humanity.’
“Even as we look at the gradual withdrawal of the lockdown, we should constantly remember that till we do not find a vaccine or a solution, the biggest weapon with us to the fight the virus is social distancing,” he said.
Covid-19 cases have spiked in Bihar in the last one week. Majority of the cases that have been reported in the last few days are among the people who returned to the state through the special trains after May 1. With 15 fresh cases reported on Tuesday the total number of Covid patients increased to 761 in Bihar. Coronavirus has spread to 37 out of the 38 districts in Bihar. Only Jamui is unaffected so far.
Munger is the worst hit district with 115 cases. Patna comes at the number two with 70 cases. Other badly affected districts are Rohtas with 59 cases, Buxar with 56, Nalanda 50 cases, Siwan 33 cases, Kaimur 32 cases and Begusarai 31 cases. These numbers are changing rapidly.
- Preventive Healthcare and Awareness Drive in AES Affected Areas
- Financial Inclusion and Awareness Campaign for Marginalised
- Empowerment Through Skill Development and Livelihood
- Nitish Kumar wants lockdown to be extended till May 31 as Covid cases spike in Bihar
- New-age skills like AI, IoT, robotics to be part of Skill India