Coronavirus Outbreak: PM Modi hints extension of lockdown in interaction with floor leaders of political parties

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday interacted with leaders of the political parties to discuss the situation arising out of the spread of coronavirus and the ongoing nationwide lockdown. 

Modi held a video conference with floor leaders of various parties, including the opposition, in Parliament to discuss the COVID-19 crisis. 

Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress MP and leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha, and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar were among those who joined the meeting. 

The Prime Minister told the leaders that "pre-corona and post-corona life won't be the same."

Congress' leader in Lok Sabha said that the Prime Minister hinted extension of lockdown beyond April 14. 

Modi said that he has received suggestions from experts and all of them have recommended the extension of lockdown. 

He will hold a meeting with state chief ministers on April 11 where a discussion on the extension of lockdown will be discussed. 

"Situation in the country is akin to a ‘social emergency’. It has necessitated tough decisions and we must continue to remain vigilant. States, District administrations and Experts have suggested extension of Lockdown to contain the spread of the virus," he said during the interaction. 

Leaders of those parties whose combined strength of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha adds up to five were invited for the meeting.

This is prime minister's first interaction with floor leaders after the imposition of the nationwide lockdown on March 25. 

The prime minister has been interacting with various stakeholders, including doctors and journalists to get feedback on ways to check the spread of coronavirus.

Earlier, he spoke to various leaders including Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, TMC leader Mamata Banerjee, DMK leader MK Stalin, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and discussed the COVID-19 situation as well as his government's efforts to contain the spread of the pandemic.

He also talked to former presidents - Pratibha Patil and Pranab Mukherjee - and former prime ministers - HD Deve Gowda and Manmohan Singh. 

Modi had also held interactions with chief ministers of all states including those ruled by non-NDA parties.

Coronavirus cases in India have crossed 5,000 with a death toll of 149. 

Total cases recorded are 5,194 while active cases are 4,643. The number of patients who have been cured and discharged is 401, according to the data provided by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.