Rajnath Singh chairs Covid-19 meet, Smriti Irani, other ministers present
All senior ministers were seen wearing masks.Updated: Apr 18, 2020, 13:30 IST
Defence minister Rajnath Singh chaired a meeting of senior Union ministers at his residence on Saturday to discuss the coronavirus pandemic and how best the ministries can help people in the present situation.
There is a nationwide lockdown in place till May 3 to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease.
All senior ministers were seen wearing masks. Among those present were Smriti Irani, Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan, Prakash Javadekar, Ram Vilas Paswan, among others.
“Interacted with the GoM on the COVID-19 situation. We discussed ways to mitigate the hardships faced by the people and the role ministries can play in providing relief to people,” tweeted the minister.
Singh said the guidelines to allow limited activities post April 20 and the measures announced by the Reserve Bank of India on Friday were also appreciated at the meeting.
Yesterday, the RBI cut the reverse repo rate by 25 basis points — from 4% to 3.75% — encouraging banks to “deploy surplus funds” and lend more, a move that will in turn result in cash in the hands of the borrower.
According to the Union government’s guidelines, starting April 20, key parts of the economy, including agriculture, logistics, infrastructure, e-commerce and factories located outside urban limits, will resume operations in areas with no infections -- what the health ministry calls green zones.
Evidence available with scientists suggests there has been no mutation in the three known strains of the coronavirus that is causing the Covid-19 outbreak in India, government officials said on Friday, even as they claimed that the steps taken by authorities have helped the country slow the doubling rate of the infection to 6.2 days from three days before the announcement of a nationwide lockdown last month.
According to the ministry, there have been 13,387 Covid-19 cases in India till April 17 with 1,749 recoveries and 452 fatalities.
Separately on Friday, a group of ministers, headed by Union health minister Harsh Vardhan, discussed how the implementation of lockdown measures can be improved, especially in areas reporting more Covid-19 cases. The group also discussed how areas such as diagnostics, vaccine development, drugs and hospital facilities can be strengthened for Covid-19 prevention and management.