WHO lauds Modi’s COVID-19 lockdown extension in India

The World Health Organization (WHO) has commended Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to extend the national lockdown till May 3, affirming that it will “facilitate effective social distancing and expansion of core public health measures.” “A six-week nationwide lockdown to facilitate effective physical distancing, coupled with an expansion of core public health measures, will benefit India in combating the novel coronavirus,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director for South-East Asia of WHO.

PM Modi on April 14 extended the confinement period after a review of the ground situation last week after the health experts and the chief ministers unanimously recommended retaining the prohibitory measures. He, however, said the government would closely monitor the progress over the next seven days and would take a call whether to ease the ban in certain areas where there are no coronavirus cases.

“The WHO commends India’s timely and tough actions to stop COVID-19. It may be early to talk about the results in numbers. But the expansion of core public health measures, such as detection, isolation, and tracing contacts of COVID-19 positive people would go a long way in arresting the virus spread,” Dr Singh said in a statement.

“Despite huge and multiple challenges, India has been demonstrating unwavering commitment in its fight against the pandemic. In these testing times, the action lies as much with the communities as with the authorities and the health workforce. It is indeed time for every one to contribute their best and together beat the virus,” she added.

India has reported more than 8,000 active coronavirus cases and 339 deaths so far. There have also been recoveries of patients after contracting the virus. The government has launched a massive nation-wide hunt for the participants of a Tablighi Jammat event in the Nizamuddin area of Delhi after many of them were suspected of contracting the disease but went into hiding. The event, which saw thousands of participants from India and abroad, is believed to be one of the primary sources of the virus outbreak in the country.


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