Headlines April 21, 2020
Centre urges states to strictly follow lockdown guidelines
On Sunday, the Union Home Secretary warned all the states across India to strictly follow the lockdown till 3 May. The letter was sent in the wake of many states easing lockdown restrictions since yesterday. The central government specially called out to Kerala where restaurants, book shops and some other services were allowed to be re-opened in certain parts of the state. On Monday, after instructions from the centre, the state government confirmed that all the services will remain closed till end of the lockdown period.
In the letter sent by Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, it is clearly stated that no states will be allowed to dilute lockdown rules. A separate letter was sent to Kerala which is ruled under leadership of Communist leader Pinarayi Vijayan. Lockdown rules are applicable to all the states and Union Territories across the state where the rules must be strictly followed in order to control spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the Kerala state government stated that they have not diluted the lockdown and has adhered to all the instructions put forward by the central government.
The lockdown has had a terrible impact on Indian economy. According to experts, the effect is going to have a negative impact in months to come.
Reactions on social media
Kerala is the only Indian state that had flattened the COVID-19 curve. The recovery rates are high with very few people being infected. Only two deaths have been reported from the state. Many renowned people took to social media to express their concern on why the state is not allowed to ease lockdown restrictions.
“After Kerala, Centre objects to Bengal. This confuses me. States are at front line of this battle. Should it not be left to individual states to decide on lifting/easing of lockdown as long as borders of states remain closed”, tweeted journalist Barkha Dutt.
“Why is the Centre objecting to Kerala easing lockdown restrictions? As long as inter-state movement is banned, why can’t each state make informed decisions based on their situation? Or is this some “level playing field” in strictness?”, tweeted Ramesh Srivats.
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