PM Modi plans staggered exit from lockdown

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Published: April 3, 2020 6:30:44 AM

Underscoring the importance of coordinated action and the need to avoid overlaps in efforts of stakeholders, Modi said there was need to form crisis management groups at the district level and appoint district surveillance officers.

PM said “it is imperative to work on war footing, identify hotspots of the virus, encircle them and ensure that the virus does not spread out”. (Narendra Modi/website)

Underlining that “in the next few weeks, testing, tracing, isolation and quarantine should remain the areas of focus” in the country’s war against the coronavirus threat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday told all state chief ministers to “formulate a common exit strategy to ensure staggered re-emergence of the population once the lockdown ends” on April 14. He, however, warned that the global situation remains “far from satisfactory” and that there was speculation of a “possible second wave of spread of the virus in some countries”.

Interacting with the CMs via video-conference from New Delhi, Modi, according to an official statement, said: “Considering this is the time to harvest crops, the government has given some relaxation from lockdown, but it is necessary to continuously monitor and maintain social distancing as much as possible”. He asked the states to “think of other platforms for procuring grains apart from APMC, and explore the possibility of creating pooling platforms for rural areas, like that in ride-sharing apps”.

Underscoring the importance of coordinated action and the need to avoid overlaps in efforts of stakeholders, Modi said there was need to form crisis management groups at the district level and appoint district surveillance officers. He said data must be taken from accredited laboratories for testing — this will ensure congruence in data of district, state and centre. He said it is “necessary to ensure staggered release of funds” to beneficiaries under the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana to avoid crowding at banks.

To increase the availability of doctors, he asked states to “tap into the resource pool of AYUSH doctors, organise online training and utilise para-medical staff, NCC and NSS volunteers”. He also told the chief ministers that “the common goal for the country is to ensure minimum loss of life” and “in the next few weeks, testing, tracing, isolation and quarantine should remain the areas of focus”. He highlighted the need to maintain supply of essential medical products, availability of raw material for manufacture of medicines and medical equipment.

He said “it is imperative to work on war footing, identify hotspots of the virus, encircle them and ensure that the virus does not spread out”. It is pertinent, her said, to maintain peace and law and order across the country. He said “Covid-19 has attacked our faith and belief and is threatening our way of life”. He appealed to the leaders to reach out to community leaders and social welfare organisations at state, district, town and block levels to build up a united front based on community-approach in the battle against the pandemic.

The CMs, on their part, underlined the importance of mobilising resources, financial as well as medical, to mitigate the crisis. According to the official statement, they “appreciated the Prime Minister for taking the bold and timely decision” on the lockdown to check the spread of the virus. “They mentioned their efforts of maintaining social distancing, tracking suspect cases, identifying and quarantining suspect cases arising from Nizamuddin Markaz, containing community transmission, boosting up of medical infrastructure, strengthening medical workforce, provision of tele-medicine, provision of mental health counselling, distribution of food and other essentials to those in need and taking care of migrant workers”.

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