Kerala had sent its suggestions in writing and Pinarayi Vijayan had deputed Chief Secretary Tom Jose to represent the state in the video conference between PM Narendra Modi and CMs.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday skipped Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s crucial meeting with the chief ministers of all states to discuss the situation arising due to the coronavirus pandemic in the country. Kerala had sent its suggestions in writing and Vijayan had deputed Chief Secretary Tom Jose to represent the state.
Reports say that only seven states are allowed to speak during the video meet with the Prime Minister today and Kerala was not among those seven states. Kerala CM had the opportunity to speak in the PM’s second interaction held on April 11. For today’s meeting, the states who have no permission to speak have been asked to submit in writing what they want to convey to the Centre.
Monday’s meeting is the fourth such interaction with chief ministers since March 22 when he discussed the coronavirus situation and steps taken to limit the spread of the virus. It was on March 24 that the Prime Minister had announced the nationwide lockdown to control the spread of the virus.
Today’s meeting comes as the second phase of the nationwide lockdown enters its final week. While the Centre and states are likely to discuss a graded exit plan from May 4, there are also concerns over the impact that this opening of the economy would have on the spread of COVID-19. Some states have already recommended that the lockdown be extended beyond May 3, while many others have said they will go by whatever the Centre decides.
Kerala has so far reported four coronavirus-related deaths and 458 positive cases. The deadly virus has infected over 30 lakh people in the world. The United States is the worst affected nation with over 9 lakh positive cases and over 53,000 deaths. In India, the virus has claimed 872 lives and left 27,892 people infected.