Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday asked chief ministers of various states to chalk out a common plan for staggered re-emergence of people from the 21-day nationwide lockdown in place to contain the spread of Covid-19. The prime minister interacted with chief ministers over video conference held from his residential office at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg. Ten facts on what the PM said:
1. PM Modi has told chief ministers to send their suggestions to the Centre on how to exit the lockdown. At the video conference, he also emphasized the need for social distancing as a mandatory requirement to beat the deadly disease. During the interaction, the PM spoke about formulating a “common exit strategy” to ensure “staggered re-emergence of the population” once lockdown is over. All sections of society may not be able to go out of their homes even after the lockdown is lifted.
2. The Prime Minister emphasized that in the next few weeks, “testing, tracing, isolation and quarantine” should remain the focus areas of state administrations.
3. This is the prime minister’s second video conference with chief ministers on tackling the huge challenge posed by the coronavirus. The video conference with CMs took place a fortnight after the first virtual interaction with states was held on March 20.
4. The prime minister has asked for staggered release of funds to beneficiaries under the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana to avoid crowds at state-run banks.
5. PM Modi asked chief ministers of states to enforce the lockdown, help the needy get food and to ensure contact tracing of people known to have tested positive with the deadly pathogen, particularly Tablighi Jamaat participants.
6. The PM did not reveal anything specific about the lockdown being lifted after the three-week schedule. Arunachal Pradesh chief minister, one of the participants in the meeting had tweeted that the lockdown will end after April 14. However, he deleted his tweet later.
7. PM Modi praised different states for extensive teamwork which he said had helped to check the transmission of the virus to some extent. He also expressed concern about the rapidly deteriorating global health crisis.
8. The prime minister highlighted the need to maintain the supply of essential medicines, essential food items and availability of raw material for manufacture of medicines and medical equipment. He asked the states to ensure dedicated hospital facilities for Covid-19 patients, tap into the resource pool of AYUSH doctors, organize online training and utilize para-medical staff, NCC and NSS volunteers.
9. The Prime Minister also suggested a Crisis Management Groups at district levels in line with the groups of bureaucrats formed by the union government and appointment of District Surveillance Officers.
10. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and other top bureaucrats were present along with the prime minister for the video conference.