PM Modi interacting with chief ministers of states via video conferencing to discuss measures to combat COVID-19 on Thursday

Guwahati: Prime Minister Narendra Modi forewarned about speculations of a possible second wave of spread of Coronavirus in some countries while interacting with chief ministers of states via video conferencing to discuss measures to combat COVID-19 on Thursday.

The Prime Minister outlined that the common goal for the country is to ensure minimum loss of life. “In the next few weeks, testing, tracing, isolation and quarantine should remain the areas of focus,” he said.

He highlighted the necessity of maintaining the supply of essential medical products, availability of raw material for manufacture of medicines and medical equipment.

He said it is necessary to ensure the availability of separate, dedicated hospital facilities for COVID-19 patients. To increase the availability of doctors, he asked the states to tap into the resource pool of AYUSH doctors, organise online training and utilise para-medical staff, NCC and NSS volunteers.

To avoid overlaps, the PM pressed on the need to set up crisis management groups at the district level and appointment of district surveillance officers. He said that data must be taken from the accredited labs for testing — this will ensure congruence in data of district, state and Centre. He said it is necessary to ensure the staggered release of funds to the beneficiaries under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana to avoid crowding at banks.

Considering that it is harvest season the government has given some relaxation from lockdown but it is necessary to continuously monitor and maintain social distancing as much as possible, said PM Modi. He asked 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, which can be used for this purpose.

Modi said that it is important to formulate a common exit strategy to ensure staggered re-emergence of the population once lockdown ends. He asked the states to brainstorm and send suggestions for the exit strategy.

Union home minister Amit Shah, union defence minister Rajnath Singh and top bureaucrats were also present during the video conference.



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