Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation at 8 pm today, a day after he interacted with chief ministers on ways to deal with the spread of coronavirus and also boost economic activity, the Prime Minister's Office said.
This will be the prime minister's fifth address to the nation, including a video message, following the outbreak of COVID-19.
Sources in the government indicated that the prime minister is likely to speak on issues related to the lockdown and the economy.
"Shri @narendramodi will be addressing the nation at 8 PM this evening," the PMO said on Twitter.
He last addressed the nation on April 14.
In his virtual meet with chief ministers on Monday, Modi said the challenges are two-fold -- reduction of the transmission rate of the novel coronavirus and gradual increase in public activities while adhering to all guidelines.
The Centre and states will have to work towards achieving the twin objectives, he said.
In his March 19 address, the prime minister announced a "janta curfew" on March 22. On March 24, he announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown. On April 14, he extended the lockdown period till May 3. On April 3, in a video message, Modi asked the nation to light lamps for frontline corona warriors on April 5.
The lockdown was further extended till May 17 by the Home Ministry.
There seems to be differing views among the chief ministers of the States regarding the extension of the lockdown. A state like Telangana has already announced an extension of its lockdown till May 29 while others like Punjab, Tamil Nadu have asked the prime minister to extend the lockdown.
The nation faces a challenging task when the lockdown is gradually lifted even though the country has been divided into three zones – red, orange and green depending on severity of the corornavirus epidemic.
Among the zones, red denotes the highest frequency of cases while green are regions which do not have a single case.
Reports indicate that majority of the coronavirus cases are generally found in the large metros of the country.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)
(Edited by Javed Gaihlot)
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