Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday (April 2) told chief ministers it is important to formulate a common exit strategy to ensure staggered movement of people once the lockdown period ends.
The prime minister was interacting with the chief ministers through video conference, during which he told them testing, tracing, isolation and quarantine should remain the focus in the next few weeks to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
#WATCH Prime Minister Narendra Modi's message at video conference with Chief Ministers on #COVID19 situation in the country. (Source: PMO) pic.twitter.com/H7ZU80tM1w
— ANI (@ANI) April 2, 2020
This was for the second time the prime minister held a video conference with the chief ministers after the spread of coronavirus, and the first after the 21-day lockdown came into force. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah and top bureaucrats were also present during the conference.
He said it is necessary to ensure availability of separate and dedicated hospital facilities for COVID-19 patients, according to an official statement from the Prime Minister’s Office. Modi also highlighted the necessity of maintaining supply of essential medical products, availability of raw material for the manufacture of medicines and medical equipment, it said.
During the video conference, the chief ministers apprised the prime minister of their efforts of maintaining social distancing, tracking suspect cases, identifying and quarantining suspect cases arising from the Nizamuddin Markaz gathering, containing community transmission, boosting up of medical infrastructure, and strengthening medical workforce, according to the statement.
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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami pitched for the Centre’s support to the state’s initiatives tied to coronavirus pandemic like prevention and relief measures, said a release. It said Palaniswami detailed Modi “about the preventive and relief measures being pursued by the state government and the central help needed for such initiatives.”
Modi, meanwhile, accepted Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s suggestion that religious leaders should be asked to refrain from holding large gatherings. Thereafter, Modi asked all the CMs to speak to religious leaders from their respective states and ask them to tell the community members about the need for social distancing and avoiding large gatherings, the CMO said.
(With inputs from agencies)