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New Delhi, April 13, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation tomorrow morning when he is likely to announce the government's decision on an extension of the three-week nationwide lockdown, imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with or without relaxations.
"Prime Minister @narendramodi will address the nation at 10 AM on 14th April 2020," the Prime Minister's Office said on Twitter.
Some indication of the Government's thinking on the subject was available when Modi held a video conference with Chief Ministers of all States on April 11 to consider whether to continue the 21-day lockdown, which was imposed from March 25 and is due to end tomorrow.
The Prime Minister noted that there seemed to be a consensus among the Chief Minsiters that the lockdown should be extended by another two weeks.
At the same time, he underlined that the motto of the Government earlier was "Jaan Hai to Jahaan Hai", but now it was "Jaan Bhi, Jahaan Bhi", which meant he was inclined to accord equal importance now to saving lives and livelihood, unlike the earlier emphasis on saving lives even if it meant a temporary economic setback, both for the nation and the people.
That was the third such interaction between Modi and the Chief Ministers to strategise on the COVID-19 crisis after the earlier ones on March 20 and April 2.
Since then, there have also been other indications that the Government would continue the lockdown and also announce specific relaxations for certain sectors and categories of people to help kickstart the economy.
This will be Modi's fourth address to the nation since March 19 on the coronavirus crisis that has hit the country and the rest of the world.
On April 3, he had posted a short video message in which he had urged the 1.3 billion people of India to light candles, lamps or torches for nine minutes from 9 pm on Sunday, April 5, to dispel the "darkness" spread by the pandemic.
This will be the third time since March 19 that Modi will be addressing the nation on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has hit the country and the rest of the world.
On March 24, he had made a televised address to the nation in which he had announced the three-week nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the pandemic.
On March 19, in his first address to the nation on this issue, he had asked the people to observe a "Janata Curefew" (People's Curfew) on Sunday, March 22 and also to stay indoors as much as possible, except for those rendering essential services, for the next few weeks.
His monthly radio address to the peope, Mann Ki Baat, on March 29 morning, was also devoted entirely to the coronavirus outbreak.
Modi has also been holding video conferences with various groups of people in recent days, including Chief Ministers of all States, Heads of Indian Missions abroad, leaders of social organisations, doctors, nurses and lab technicians, editors, radio jockeys, with representatives of the pharmaceuticals industry and with SAARC Leaders. He also participated in the extraordinary virtual summit of G20 Leaders on March 26.
As of this morning, 308 people had lost their lives in India due to the pandemic and more than 9,000 people had been infected.
Worldwide, the pandemic, which broke out in Wuhan, China in December, has claimed more than 114,200 lives and infected more than 1,850,500 people so far.
The deaths include 22,108 in the United States, 19,899 in Italy, 17,209 in Spain, 14,393 in France and 10,612 in the United Kingdom, it added.
In China, where it all began, there have been more than 3,340 deaths reported so far.