States provide feedback, suggest measures to meet economic challenges and boost health infrastructure
GN Bureau | April 27, 2020
As India entered the last week of the extended lockdown to counter Covid-19, prime minister Narendra Modi and his key cabinet colleagues held a video conference with the state chief ministers Monday to gauge the effectiveness of movement restrictions and the plans ahead.
The PM underlined that the lockdown has yielded positive results as the country has managed to save thousands of lives in the past one and a half month. He added that India’s population is comparable to that of the combined population of several countries. The situation in many countries, including India, was almost similar at the start of March. However, due to timely measures, India has been able to protect many people. He, however, forewarned that the danger of the virus is far from over and constant vigilance is of paramount importance.
This was the fourth such interaction, after the ones held on 20th March, 2nd April and 11th April, 2020.
Modi said that the country has seen two lockdowns till now, both different in certain aspects, and now we have to think of the way ahead. He said that as per experts, the impact of coronavirus will remain visible in the coming months. Reiterating the mantra of ‘do gaz doori’, he said that masks and face covers will become part of our lives in the days ahead. He added that under the circumstances, everyone’s aim must be rapid response. He pointed out that many people are self-declaring whether they have cough and cold or symptoms, and that this is a welcome sign.
The PM said that we have to give importance to the economy as well as continue the fight against COVID-19. He emphasized on the importance of usage of technology as much as possible and also to utilize time to embrace reform measures. He emphasized the significance of ensuring that more people download the AarogyaSetu app to bolster the efforts of the country in the battle against COVID-19. He said, “We have to be brave and bring in reforms that touch the lives of common citizens.” He also suggested that people associated with Universities can be integrated on devising ways to fight the pandemic and strengthen research as well as innovation.
He highlighted the importance for states to enforce guidelines strictly in the hotspots, i.e., the red zone areas. He stated that the efforts of the states should be directed towards converting the red zones into orange and thereafter to green zones.
On the issue of getting back Indians who are overseas, he said that this has to be done keeping in mind the fact that they don’t get inconvenienced and their families are not under any risk. The PM also urged the CMs to factor in the changes in weather – advent of summer and monsoon – and the illnesses that can potentially come in this season, while strategizing ahead.
Union home minister Amit Shah reaffirmed the need to enforce lockdown so that maximum lives are saved.
The CMs praised Modi’s leadership during this period of crisis, and also highlighted the efforts undertaken by them in containing the virus. They spoke about the need to keep a close vigil on international borders, and also on addressing the economic challenge and ways to further boost health infrastructure. The leaders expressed gratitude towards the police force and medical staff for the exemplary work done by them in the fight against COVID-19.
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