Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday held a meeting with the chief ministers of all states via video conferencing to discuss measures to combat Covid-19.
Modi said the threat of the pandemic is common for all states and stressed the need for the Centre and states to work together.
“While participation of citizens is necessary to combat the challenge, panic needs to be avoided," said Modi, adding that given the global context of the spread of the virus across countries, constant vigilance is of paramount importance.
Describing social distancing as the single most important measure for containment, Modi said that the next 3-4 weeks will be crucial in efforts to contain the spread of the virus. Modi asked chief ministers to ensure effective implementation of the same.
During the meeting, senior officials told Modi about the measures taken so far to contain the spread of virus.
Health secretary Preeti Sudan gave an overview of ongoing cooperation with states, monitoring of international passengers, use of community surveillance to track spread, logistics of testing facilities, travel restrictions and evacuation of Indian citizens from abroad.
“India is currently in phase 2 of transmission (local transmission with the known source of infection), emphasizing that at present India is in the window for taking action to minimize the risk of transmission of phase 3," Balram Bhargava, director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said.
The chief ministers briefed Modi about the preparations done till now. During the course of their presentations, they requested augmentation of testing facilities, greater support to vulnerable sections, advancement of financial disbursement for FY21 to the states and the involvement of private labs and hospitals in larger numbers. All the chief ministers assured their support and said they would work in tandem with the Centre to combat the pandemic.
The PM, assuring support to the states, pointed to the urgent need for capacity building of healthcare workers and augmentation of healthcare infrastructure.
“The CMs should do video conference with trade bodies in their states to prevent black marketing and undue price rise," said Modi, urging them to use the soft power of persuasion as well as legal provisions wherever necessary.
Modi said the Covid-19 Economic Task Force would formulate the strategy to devise a suitable approach to effectively tackle the economic challenge.
“The chief ministers should ensure that all necessary steps are taken and all advisories are adhered to in order to ensure the safety of citizens in the country at large," Modi said.