From extending lockdown to starting industries: What chief ministers said during meeting with PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday held a video conference with the chief ministers of all states to discuss further strategies for the prevention of the coronavirus infections and ways to ease the lockdown across the country.
Nine chief ministers spoke during the video conferencing, the fourth between PM Modi and the CMs on the coronavirus pandemic since March 20.
These are chief ministers of Meghalaya, Mizoram, Puducherry, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar, Gujarat and Haryana are going to talk about what they want and what should be done in their states.
Watch | PM Modi discusses lockdown exit strategy with CMs: All the key details
The rest attended the meeting and were asked to write to the Prime Minister with their suggestions.
Here’s what the chief ministers said:
* Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma said he will continue with the lockdown in the state even after May 3 with restrictions on inter-state and inter-district movement and relaxation for medical emergencies and essential services.
* Mizoram’s Zoramthanga talked about how religious they are following lockdown and said they will continue to follow directives of the Centre.
* Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy sought intervention from the Centre for providing personal protective equipment (PPEs) and other medical equipment. He asked for financial aid and grants to fight Covid-19 and starting of industries post lockdown.
* Uttarakhand’s Trivendra Singh Rawat said business and trade activities should start in a phased manner with a focus on following all precautionary measures.
He said governments should slowly come to ease people’s life by turning the situation to normal. Rawat added that all development work in the state is already continuing, including MGNREGA. Economic revival is key to moving forward, he said.
* Himachal CM Jai Ram Thakur said that they are now in a position to start economic activities. He said the decision over the lockdown should be taken in consultation and consideration of other states.
He said his government has reached out to the people through Anganwadi centres to create sensitisation. “We have been aggressively testing people with symptoms because bordering states have reported cases. We are very happy that 12 districts of Himachal have no positive case,” he said.
Thakur also talked about how the state has reached out to financially aid the poor and needy. He said that the state is prepared to tackle the challenge.
* Odisha’s Naveen Patnaik had several suggestions and said the national lockdown should continue but important activities should be allowed.
Patnaik said public gatherings, religious and educational institution must be completely stopped and urged for economic activities within the states only.
He also urged the Centre to relook to initiate measures to kickstart the economy as “we work together to curb the disease.”
* Bihar’ Nitish Kumar said the state has started door to door screening, similar to the polio campaign. “We are working on a similar mechanism and four crore people have been screened,” he said.
Kumar said Rs 1000 each has been sent to poor migrant labourers stranded in other states. He said lockdown will continue till May 3. “We will not dilute the guideline, and will enforce the same,” he said.
“We don’t have resources to call back our migrant labourers from other states. We need to devise measures to ease people’s life in green zones,” he added.
* Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani briefed PM Modi on the Covid-19 situation in his state and said that till April 17 over 22,000 tests have been done and in the last 10 days another 28,000 tests done.
“We have ramped up our facilities in the last 10 days and all positive cases are being treated. Door to door testing continues in hotspot areas of the State. We are increasing beds in Covid care centre. We have adequate medical facilities to tackle the challenge of Covid,” he said.
The Gujarat CM said in hotspots areas of the state and after Nizamuddin incident Surat, Vadodara and Ahmadabad, they have increased surveillance and started treatment of affected people.
He said 85% of people, who died of Covid-19 in Gujarat were affected by one or more other diseases. Business and economic activities in rural areas have already started in rural areas and over 700 construction projects are ongoing with 30,000 plus labourers involved, he added.
“We are ensuring SoPs for lockdown and social distancing are followed in all trade and construction projects. Post-May 3, we should extend lockdown and on a phase-wise manner we should ease the situation, taking into consideration that Covid does not spread.
The Centre should decide in the interest of the country and Gujarat will respect all decision taken by the central government, he said.
* Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar said containment zones are left, in rest of the areas, we have started industries and trade activities, with over 4 lakh people involved.
“We have also started farming activities by following all protocols and social distance is maintained. We have started online classes for higher classes. The inter-district and inter-state movement will remain closed. We will follow any decision taken by the government of India for lockdown,” Khattar said.