Plan for Unlock 2.0, PM Modi tells CMs on the second day of interaction

Modi said businesses and offices must prepare for the second phase of lifting restrictions and adhere scrupulously to social distancing to control the spread of the contagion.
Warning that as monsoon approaches, managing the Covid-19 pandemic could become harder, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said businesses and offices must prepare for the second phase of the lifting of restrictions and adhere scrupulously to social distancing to control the spread of the contagion. 

He said India’s health capacities had been augmented but needed to be strengthened further to defeat the infection.

On the second day of the interaction with chief ministers (CMs) of Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana, Odisha, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka, Modi said when the health crisis first hit India, the country was short of almost all equipment needed to fight the infection. Since then, the manufacture of personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators had been ramped up. 

“Just three months back, there was shortage of PPE gear and diagnostic kits across the world. In India, too, we had limited stock because we were completely dependent on imports. But today, more than 10 million PPE kits and an equal number of N95 masks have reached the states,” he said. He said health facilities will continue to be scaled up.

“More and more people are recovering from Covid. There is no need to panic. We should encourage the Covid warriors and continue our fight against the deadly affliction,” Modi said, adding it was necessary to provide emotional support to those who were undergoing treatment, over and above overhauling the physical health infrastructure. The PM opened the meeting with a reference to the stand-off on the border with China and observed a two-minute silence in memory of the slain soldiers.

He said the timely tracing, treatment, and reporting had helped contain the spread of the virus, adding the recovery rate was on a steady rise. He said India had reported one of the highest recovery rates in the world.

The number of patients who have recovered was more than the number of active cases in the country, he added. This was achieved because “discipline shown by the people during lockdown had helped control the exponential growth of the virus”.

“States where more people have downloaded the Aarogya Setu app have shown positive results. We must ensure more people install this app and update it from time to time,” Modi said. 

He also said helplines should be helpful, not helpless, in order to guide patients via telemedicine.

Some CMs thrashed out their issues with the PM. West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee was conspicuous by her absence. She had not been invited to speak and had instead sent state Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha to speak on her behalf.



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