Prime Minister Narendra Modi o n Wednesday evening chaired a high-level virtual meeting with Chief Ministers of seven states with the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country. He emphasised the need to increase focus on “effective testing, tracing, treatment and surveillance” to bring the coronavirus outbreak in the country under control.
He said: “Effective messaging is also necessary because most Covid-19 infections are without symptoms. In such a situation, rumours may rise. It might raise doubts in the minds of the people that testing is bad. Some people also make mistake of underestimating the severity of infection.”
The states attending Wednesday’s meet include Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Punjab. More than 63% of the active cases in the country are concentrated in these seven states. Health ministers of these states also attended the meeting.
“There are more than 700 districts in the country, but only 60 districts in seven states are a cause of worry. I suggest CMs to hold virtual conference with people at district/block level for seven days. We’ve to learn from the best practices from across the states,” the PM said.
The PM also asked states to reassess if lockdowns of one or two days are effective in containing Covid-19 and told them to press on with full strength in opening economic activities while fighting the virus. Modi also said that “micro containment zones” should be the way forward as it will curb the infection spread and also allow activities to go on. “India has ensured the supply of life-saving medicines all over the world even in difficult times. We have to work together to see that the medicines easily reach from one state to another,” he added. Apart from this, the PM also spoke about how several states had asked for increase in SDRF and the government has decided to increase the expenditure from 35% to 50%.
Recently, some of the states, like Delhi and Punjab, have seen a spurt in cases.
Maharashtra, Punjab and Delhi have also seen a greater number of fatalities, with more than 2.0% case fatality rate, as quoted by officials.
India logged 83,527 fresh cases of coronavirus this morning–a tally of 24 hours — which took the total to over 56 lakh cases. The country has also seen more than 90,000 deaths. The nation is the second worst-hit in the world after the United States.
During the meet, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh urged PM Modi to direct urgent steps to ensure adequate supplies from other states and also sought expeditious release of Rs 200 crore that the state government had requested as the next tranche of Central aid for Covid management.