New Delhi, April 8:
The Group of Ministers (GoM) that met is set to recommend that the nationwide lockdown be lifted in a phased manner. The shutdown is to end on April 15. Sources have indicated that a meeting chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and attended by almost all key ministers decided to recommend that closure of educational institutions be extended as also restrictions on religious activities entailing public participation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a video-conference with state Chief Ministers to elicit their views on the issue. The immediate concern is the harvesting of wheat crop. Some relaxation would have to be given as harvesting, post-harvest loading and transportation involve the labour.
Sources said the final call may be taken after April 10 after studying data. A call will have to be taken on reopening of malls and cinema houses.
Earlier in the day, co-chairman of the Empowered Committee on Covid-19 Response VK Paul said all options were open and the government was taking into account various factors to determine the timing and nature of a strategy to de-escalate the lockdown.
He said a strategy would be framed considering the disease outbreak profile and Covid 19 projections on the one hand and needs of the people, industry, agriculture and labour on the other. “