Telangana Rashtra Samithi president and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao, who hoped that the state will be free from coronavirus by April 7 and that complete lockdown will be lifted if no fresh cases are reported, on Monday said he was in favour of extension of lockdown by at least another two or three weeks. “I will speak to the Prime Minister and express my willingness for extension of the lockdown,” he said.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, he praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the central government’s aggressive stance to declare complete lockdown saying such tough measure is the only way to fight the invisible enemy that is crippling countries like the US, Spain and Italy where people are dying by the heaps.
Pointing out that nearly 22 countries declared complete lock down and 99 nations announced partial lock down, he said, “The Prime Minister has extended the lockdown in the best interests of the nation. I am in favour of further extension of lockdown. I will request Modi saab to extend the lockdown at least by another two or three weeks. It will be in the best interests of the people. The Prime Minister should hold a video conference with all the CMs and announce further extension of the lockdown.”
Stating that the government has placed human life above economy, he said, “It is a fact that lockdown is hurting the economy. But we can always revive economy provided there are people alive to steer it back. Human life is valuable. Economy can always be revived.”
Citing a study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group which noted that complete lock own was the only solution for India to fight the corona virus, the Chief Minister said “The fact that the number of Covid-19 cases are still low in India is because of the complete lockdown. Today, there are only 4,318 positive corona cases in India. Imagine, the consequences if lockdown was not enforced. Until we have a vaccine, lockdowns and social distancing are the only ways to reduce the spread of the virus. Until then, social distancing and lock down are the only ways to break the chain of transmission and a fighting chance of surviving this pandemic.”
Interestingly, the Boston Consulting Group predicted that the central government could start lifting Covid-19 lockdown only between the fourth week of June and the second week of September.
Appealing to the people not to view the lockdown viewed as punishment, he appreciated the people of Telangana for cooperating with the government and asked the people to continue the same spirit.
The central government had declared a complete lockdown from March 23 till March 31, but was later extended by 21 days to April 15. Other than a few essential services, all commercial, industrial, religious and cultural activity was shut down. Residents were ordered to stay home. India also shut down most transport services. Nothing, from city buses to domestic flights, would run.
The Chief Minister hailed the Prime Minster Narendra for finding new ways and means to keep the public morale high during the Covid 19 outbreak and came down heavily on social media and individuals who criticised his call to switch off lights on April 5 at 9 pm for 9 minutes. “The social media has become anti-social. I curse the social media. May it die of corona virus,” he said.
Thanking the medical staff for their service to the people in these difficult times, he said people and his government are indebted to the doctors, nurses, hospital staff. The CM announced Rs 7,500 for the GHMC and water board staff, Rs 5,000 for sanitation workers.