Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday had a virtual interaction with Chief Ministers of all states and UTs to discuss the road ahead in India’s fight against Covid-19 pandemic. This was the fifth interaction since March 20.
In his opening remark the PM Modi said, “We now have reasonably clear indication as to the geographical spread of the pandemic in India, including the worst affected areas. Moreover, over the past few weeks, officials have understood operating procedures in a time such as this, right up to the District level.”
This understanding of the spread of Covid-19 will help the country in having a focussed fight against it, PM added.
Terming the situation as a ‘new reality’, Modi said, “ We have a twofold challenge – to reduce the transmission rate of the disease, and to increase public activity gradually, while adhering to all the guidelines, and we will have to work towards achieving both these objectives.”
Social distancing ‘Do Gaz Doori’ remains the ‘biggest weapon’ against the pandemic virus till a vaccine is found, PM Modi emphasised. He also suggested that the lockdown may not be lifted entirely.
He also spoke about how pandemic will change the world just as the world wars did and introduced the new principle of life ‘Jan se lekar jag tak’ (from an individual to the whole humanity).
In their response, the majority of the chief ministers have asked for the extension of lockdown and also urged the centre to announce a financial package to tide over the economic crisis.
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray seeking the extension of lockdown said that it is not possible to contain the spread of the virus without continuation of the lockdown restrictions.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee urged that the lockdown should be extended and at the same time complained that there should not be politics with states while handling the crisis. She suggested that the country needs to fight unitedly.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said that the economic activities should be allowed to resume in the national capital (except in containment zones).
Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami opposed the resumption of passenger trains and air services in the state till May 31 and seeked more RT- PCR kits from the centre to ramp up the ongoing aggressive testing.
Telangana CM K Chandrasekar Rao agreed with Tamil Nadu CM opposing the resumption of passenger trains as a part of preventive measures to contain the spread of pandemic virus in the country.