A day after his address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the threat of the pandemic is common for all states and underscored the need of Centre and all States to work together.
"While the participation of citizens is necessary to combat the challenge, but panic needs to be avoided. The threat of the pandemic is common for all states and underscored the need of Centre and all States working together," PM Modi said while holding a video conference with Chief Ministers of the country in the view of the coronavirus outbreak.
He said that constant vigilance is of paramount importance.
"Given the global context of the spread of the virus in various countries, constant vigilance is of paramount importance. The next 3-4 weeks are crucial in efforts to contain the spread of the virus, and the most important measure for containment is 'social distancing' and the Chief Ministers should ensure effective implementation of the same," a press statement quoted Modi as saying.
During the video conference, health officials also informed about the action taken to combat the coronavirus.
Health Secretary, Preeti Sudan gave an overview of ongoing cooperation with states, monitoring of international passengers, use of community surveillance to track spread, logistics of testing facilities, travel restrictions and evacuation of Indian citizens from abroad.
Dr Balram Bhargava, DG of ICMR, said that India is currently in phase 2 of transmission, emphasizing that at present India is in the window for taking action to minimize the risk of transmission of phase 3. He talked about the importance of judicious use of health facilities and need to focus on ramping up quarantine facilities and isolation wards.
Prime Minister appreciated the steps taken by the States and thanked them for sharing their experiences and giving suggestions. He suggested that the Chief Ministers should do video conference with trade bodies in their states to prevent black marketing and undue price rise. He urged them to use soft power of persuasion as well as legal provisions, wherever necessary.
Prime Minister said that the COVID-19 Economic Task Force set up by Government of India will formulate the strategy to devise a suitable approach to effectively tackle the economic challenge.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath among others attended the video conferencing
"The Chief Ministers thanked the Prime Minister for the support given by the Centre to the States in combating COVID-19 and also appreciated the impact of Prime Minister's message in his address to the nation," press statement said.
"The Chief Ministers briefed the Prime Minister and others about the preparations done till now. During the course of their presentations, they requested for augmentation of testing facilities, greater support to vulnerable sections, the advancement of financial disbursement for 2020-21 to the states and requested for roping in private labs and hospitals in larger numbers," press statement added.
All the Chief Ministers assured their support and reaffirmed that all States will work together with the Government of India to combat the pandemic.
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