BHOPAL: The ongoing lockdown, which is in place in view of coronavirus outbreak, might be extended in Madhya Pradesh if needed, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said here on Tuesday.
The three-week national lockdown, which came into force on March 24 midnight following the announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, entered its fourteenth day on Tuesday.
"We will take a decision after analysing the circumstances. Lives of people are more important. We can tolerate lockdown. We can resurrect the economy later on but can't be able to bring back lives of people," Chouhan said in a video statement.
Chouhan specifically referred to the situation in Bhopal and Indore, which is worst-affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
Out of the total 268 coronavirus cases in the state so far, maximum 151 have been reported from Indore alone while the state capital accounted for 74 cases, including 12 new additions on Tuesday.
"In view of the circumstances in Bhopal and Indore, we should be very careful. Given that if the need arises, we will extend it (lockdown) further as the lives of the people are most important for us. We will decide after analysing the circumstances," the chief minister said.
A total of 18 persons have died of COVID-19 in Madhya Pradesh so far.
Of them, 13 were from Indore, 2 in Ujjain and one each in Khargone, Chhindwara and Bhopal.
PM Modi on Monday cautioned people to be ready for a "long fight" against COVID-19 and told his ministers to make plans for slowly exiting the ongoing lockdown.