Sunday, March 7

Government calls all-party meeting on December 4 to discuss Covid-19 situation

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to chair an all-party meeting on December 4 to discuss the Covid-19 situation in the country, said a person aware of this details.

The Prime Minister will meet the floor leaders of all parties to assess the situation on the ground; it is, however, not clear whether the meeting will be held in person or through video-conferencing.

The meeting comes close on the heels of the Prime Minister’s meeting with a group of chief ministers that was held on November 24. In that meeting, the Prime Minister had underlined the need to collectively curb the transmission of the Covid-19 virus and bring the positivity rate under 5%.

The Prime Minister had reiterated the need to guard against the spread of the virus and had asked the states to set up task forces or steering committees at district and block levels to prepare for the vaccine programme.

As per another person, at the all-party meeting, the PM is likely to take up the issue of the government’s preparation for the Covid-19 vaccine rollout. The PM has already met three teams that are involved in developing Covid-19 vaccine via video conferencing last week. On Monday, he interacted with three other teams— Gennova Biopharma, Biological E and Dr. Reddy’s.

Last week, the union home ministry also released guidelines for surveillance and containment during the ongoing pandemic with an eye on consolidating the gains that have been achieved against the spread of the virus. The new guidelines, which will come into force from December 1, empower the states to impose local restrictions, including night curfew, to check the spread of the virus.

In April, the Prime Minister had interacted with the floor leaders of all the parties through video conference. At that meeting, he had suggested that it may be necessary to extend the 21-day lockdown that was imposed in March and had spoken about the government’s priority to save lives.