Assam writes to Centre, calls for extending coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown for two more weeks after May 17

The government of Assam has written to the Centre urging it to extend the coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown by two more weeks beyond May 17.

Assam writes to Centre, calls for extending coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown for two more weeks after May 17

NEW DELHI: The government of Assam has written to the Centre urging it to extend the coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown by two more weeks beyond May 17.

Confirming this, Assam Chief Minister CM Sarbananda Sonowal said, “We have sent our written recommendation that we want this lockdown to be continued.’’

The third phase of the coronavirus-induced nationwide lockdown is scheduled to end on May 17.

Addressing a press conference, Sonowal said all states were supposed to give their feedback on the extension of the lockdown by Friday, and the Assam government has already conveyed its stand to the Centre.

The state has also conveyed its views on the relaxations it wants in the fourth phase of the lockdown, Sonowal said.

"Let the Government of India take a view on that. I don't want to say much about this now. All the states have written to the Centre, which will take a decision on the extension," he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Monday dropped indications of another lockdown with fewer restrictions in a video conference interaction with 30 chief ministers, many of whom were wary of lifting Lockdown 3.0 scheduled to end on Sunday.

Amid surging COVID-19 cases, states like Maharashtra, Telangana, Bihar, Punjab, West Bengal and Assam are opposed to lifting the restrictions. After the meeting, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that lockdown 4.0 will start from May 18.

Seeking to shift the focus on containment zones in the coming days, PM Modi said he is of the firm view that measures needed in the first phase were not needed in the second phase. Similarly, the measures needed in the third phase will not be needed in the fourth phase, he added as he stressed the need for social distancing.

The Prime Minister requested all the chief ministers to share with him a broad strategy on how they would deal with the lockdown regime in their states by May 15.