NEW DELHI : In a video conferencing with chief ministers today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: War has just began now. We can never be contended. Let us no mistake. Every 24 hours we must be alert; unitedly we must fight to defeat the outbreak of COVID-19.
This is a fight which must be fought by each of us. This is a war which cannot be left alone to health workers, policemen or the govt. Time is now for all different ideologies to unite to defeat the enemy of mankind.
Time to leverage technology to fight coronavirus. Let us not compete to announce packages. It is for all of us to be realistic and practical. The fight could go for any length and we can’t predict how things will turn.
Lockdown will end on April 15 next, but it doesn’t mean we have free will to move out on streets. We all must be responsible. Social distancing in the only way to fight coronavirus.We need zero budget to fight coronavirus if we can maintain social distancing, it is enough to prevail over COVID-19.
The centre and states must have a common plan to ensure staggered movement of people after the national lockdown ends, Modi said today at a video-conference with Chief Ministers on coronavirus which, he remarked, was threatening our way of life.
“It is important to formulate a common exit strategy to ensure staggered re-emergence of the population once the lockdown ends,” PM Modi emphasised, according to a statement giving details of the interaction. He asked states to send their suggestions for such an exit strategy.
The PM also said it “can’t be business as usual” after the lockdown and certain safeguards would have to be taken, according to the statement. States must enforce the lockdown “seriously”, he said, urging them to stick to social distancing.
States were asked to “work on war footing, identify virus hotspots and encircle them” to contain the infection. The focus for the next few weeks must be testing, tracing, isolation and quarantine, the Prime Minister told states. The goal, he said, was to ensure minimum loss of life, and observed that the global situation was “far from satisfactory” with speculation of a second wave in some countries.
Nine chief ministers participated in the meeting, which was conducted by Home Minister Amit Shah. PM Modi, Mr Shah and other ministers sat far apart from one another inside a large hall. According to some chief ministers, there was no response to their request for more funds to fight the virus.
PM Modi ordered a total national lockdown for 21 days on March 24 and said it was necessary to break the chain of transmission of the highly contagious disease, which has infected close to a million worldwide.
The announcement led to a scramble for essential supplies and over the next few days, thousands of migrant workers abruptly left without jobs or shelter, started walking home. The movement on the roads presented a frightening spectacle at a time social distancing is crucial to avoid infection.
The PM, in his radio show on Sunday, apologised for what he called a tough decision necessary to fight coronavirus. India has 1,965 coronavirus cases including 50 deaths.
During the video conference, PM Modi and the leaders also discussed contact tracing of hundreds who attended an Islamic sect meeting in Delhi’s Nizamuddin linked to nearly 400 coronavirus cases.
(With Agency Inputs ).