Govt not going for lockdowns in big way, says Sitharaman amid COVID wave

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New Delhi, Apr 13 (PTI) Amid surging coronavirus cases in India, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday made it clear that the government would not go for lockdowns in a big way and only resort to local containment.

In a virtual meeting with World Bank Group president David Malpass, Sitharaman appreciated the initiatives of the World Bank to increase the lending space for India to enhance availability of finance for development.

'Finance Minister Smt. @nsitharaman shared the measures being taken by India to contain the spread of second wave of pandemic including the five pillared strategy of test-track-treat-vaccination and #COVID19 appropriate behaviour,' the Finance Ministry said in a tweet.

'Even with the second wave, we are very clear that we are not going in for lockdowns in a big way. We don't want to totally arrest the economy. The local level isolation of patients, or households which have people in quarantines are the methods through which the crisis will be handled, the second wave will be handled. There shall not be lockdown,' she said.

She also shared other measures taken by government including distribution of LED bulbs, ethanol blending programme under National Bio Fuel Policy, voluntary vehicle scrapping policy, incentivisation of electric vehicles to achieve green, resilient and inclusive development.

Daily average cases across the country crossed 1.5 lakh last week. As per the latest health ministry data, 1,61,736 new coronavirus infections have been reported in a day pushing India's total caseload to 1,36,89,453, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has dropped further to 89.51 per cent. PTI DP ANU ANU ANU