PM Modi holds meeting with Chief Ministers via video conference. (Photo Credit: IANS)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday discussed measures to combat coronavirus with chief ministers of different states and said that the government's first priority for the next few weeks should be ‘testing, tracing, isolating and quarantining’. He stressed that to make it happen, there should be proper coordination and effort down to the district level. Interacting via video conference, PM Modi said it is necessary to ensure the availability of separate and dedicated hospital facilities for COVID-19 patients.
The prime minister also told the chief ministers the importance of formulating a common exit strategy to ensure the staggered re-emergence of the population once the lockdown ends, an official statement said. He highlighted the necessity of "maintaining supply of essential medical products, availability of raw material for manufacture of medicines and medical equipment"
He accepted Maharashtra Chief Minister’s suggestion that religious leaders should be asked to refrain from holding large gatherings.
CM Uddhav Thackeray made the suggestion during a video conference with Modi in the morning, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said.
The prime minister accepted Thackeray’s suggestion and asked all chief ministers 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 in a statement.
He also supported Thackeray’s view that citizens need to be in good mental health during the lockdown period, it said. State Health minister Rajesh Tope, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray and senior bureaucrats also attended the video conference.
"Completion of lockdown will end on April 15 next. But it doesn't mean free will to move out on streets. We all must be responsible in slowing down. Lockdown and social distancing are the only way to fight #COVID19," wrote Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on twitter after the meeting.
On Thursday, a total of 1,965 people have tested positive for coronavirus across the country while 50 people have died across the country.
With Agency Inputs