Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will be addressing the nation today (12th May 2020) at 8:00 PM. Prime Minister Office made the announcement on its Twitter Handle. The announcement comes a day after PM chaired a high-level meeting with the chief ministers of various states and Union Territories, over the lockdown in the country. In a similar type of address to the nation on March 24, PM Modi had announced the lockdown that started on March 25 and the first extension after the initial 21-day period. Prime Minister didn’t address the nation to announce the third phase of the lockdown till May 17.
In Monday’s meeting with Chief Ministers, several representatives of states including Maharashtra, Punjab, Telangana and West Bengal requested for the lockdown extension. Whereas other states wanted further easing of restrictions and more say in which districts fall under red, orange and green zones. States including Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Andhra, Bihar and Tamil Nadu had reservations on allowing inter-state transport, be it rail or air, and wanted to be consulted before any decision is taken. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar stated that starting rail services “was a mistake” and opinion should have been taken since he was a “former Railways Minister”.
The coronavirus cases in India have crossed the 70,000-mark and the death toll jumped to 2,293 with 87 fatalities reported in the last 24 hours. The active cases in the country stand at 46,008, while those cured are 22,454.