New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will share a small video message with people on Friday amid nationwide lockdown to combat against coronavirus COVID-19. The prime minister took to social media and tweeted, “At 9 AM tomorrow morning, I’ll share a small video message with my fellow Indians.”
Earlier in the day, PM Modi held a meeting with chief ministers on the COVID-19 outbreak via video-conferencing. He told chief ministers to focus on COVID-19 containment measures — testing, tracing, isolation and quarantine — with a common goal of ensuring minimum loss of life and pitched for a joint strategy for a “staggered” exit from the ongoing lockdown.
As the country witnessed a spike in coronavirus infections and deaths in the past few days, the prime minister held a meeting with the chief ministers via video-conferencing and said it was imperative to work on a war footing, identify hotspots, encircle them and ensure that the infection does not spread out.
PM Modi also pitched for formulating a common exit strategy to ensure “staggered re-emergence of the population” once the 21-day nationwide lockdown ends on April 14.
Reiterating the importance of social distancing in preventing the spread of the virus, which has infected over 1,950 people and caused at least 50 deaths, Modi asked the states to brainstorm and send suggestions on a strategy from exit from the lockdown.
The statement said, “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.”
The states spoke about the importance of mobilising resources, financial as well as medical, to mitigate the crisis, the statement said.
During the interaction, the prime minister informed the participants about speculations of a “possible second wave” of the spread of the virus in some countries, highlighting the necessity of maintaining the supply of essential medical products, availability of raw material for the manufacture of medicines and medical equipment.
Modi said it was necessary to ensure the availability of separate, dedicated hospital facilities for COVID-19 patients.
He said that it is pertinent to maintain peace and law and order across the country.
He appealed to the leaders to reach out to community leaders and social welfare organisations at the state, district, town and block levels to build up a united front based on community-approach in the battle against the pandemic.
He also praised how all the states have worked together as a team to check the spread of the virus.
The chief ministers also spoke about strengthening the medical workforce, provision of telemedicine and mental health counselling, distribution of food and other essentials to those in need and taking care of migrant workers.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Minister Amit Shah were present at the interaction. Shah talked about the need for enforcing the lockdown more strictly in some states and effective district-level implementation of guidelines issued by the Centre.