Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah met on Friday to deliberate over the way out of lockdown as its fourth phase draws to a close this week.
The escalation in numbers might prove to be a big worry as the country reported 7,467 new cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the last 24 hours in the highest single-day surge, taking the tally to 165,799, according to the Union health ministry.
The meeting comes a day after the home minister spoke to chief ministers to discuss their views on extending the lockdown and future strategy to fight the pandemic.
Officials said that the CMs, in meeting with Shah, contended that the lockdown should be extended with considerable relaxation in economic activity.
“I feel lockdown may be extended for 15 more days. However, we demand that there should be some relaxations, say, restaurants should be allowed with social distancing at 50 per cent capacity. Many people also want gyms to resume,” Goa CM Pramod Sawant said he made the suggestion to Amit Shah.
This was the first time that the home minister was in consultation with the CMs. Earlier, the PM used to chair those meetings. An officer at the Centre said that the PM may not interact with the CMs this time.
In this phase of lockdown, the Centre allowed extensive relaxations, leaving it to the states to decide what to open and what not.
The Centre also was looking to restart the economy reeling under the effect of lockdown.