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Assam Health and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on April 9 said that any decision on extension or withdrawal of the ongoing 21-day nationwide lockdown to combat spread of COVID-19 would have to strike a balance between the public health threat perception and need for economic welfare.

“The Centre will take its decision on the lockdown, and the state government will base its decision on the Centre’s directive,” he said.

Pointing that over 300 positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported on April 9 itself across the country, he said the threat to the health of the people has not decreased.

“But we have to take into consideration the economic needs of the people also. Any decision on the lockdown will have to balance both the need to safeguard people’s health and economic condition,” he added.

Sarma said the prime minister is in consultation with experts and will also have a discussion with the chief ministers of all the states before arriving at a decision.

Assam has so far detected 28 positive cases of COVID-19.

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