Ensure implementation of social distancing: Modi urges all CMs
   Date :21-Mar-2020
Modi urges_1  H
 
NEW DELHI :
 
PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged Chief Ministers to ensure effective implementation of ‘social distancing’, saying it is the most important measure to contain the spread of coronavirus. Modi deliberated on the ways to check the spread of coronavirus with the Chief Ministers of various States via video link. He said that the threat of the pandemic is common for all States, and underscored the need of the Centre and the States working together, a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said. Modi suggested that the Chief Ministers should hold video conference with trade bodies in their States to prevent black marketing and undue price rise. “He urged them to use soft power of persuasion as well as legal provisions, wherever necessary,” the statement said.
 
During the course of their presentations, the Chief Ministers requested for augmentation of testing facilities, greater support to vulnerable sections, advancement of financial disbursement for 2020-21 to the States and need for roping in private labs and hospitals in larger numbers, the statement said. Modi stressed the need to avoid panic. Given the global context of spread of the virus, constant vigilance is of paramount importance, he said, adding participation of citizens in combating the virus is a must.
 
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and his Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh counterparts Uddhav Thackeray and Yogi Adityanath were among those who attended the video conference. Modi has been pitching for involvement of people and local authorities to check the spread of the virus. According to the statement, the Union Health Secretary gave an overview of the 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. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) DG Balram Bhargava said India is currently in phase two of transmission, emphasising that at present the country is in the window for taking action to minimise the risk of transmission of phase three. He talked about the importance of judicious use of health facilities and need to focus on ramping up quarantine facilities and isolation wards.
 
The Chief Ministers, the statement said, thanked the Prime Minister for the Centre’s support to the States in combating the virus and also appreciated the impact of Modi’s message in his address to the nation. They briefed the Prime Minister and others about the preparations done till now by their respective states and assured that they will work together with the Centre to combat the pandemic. The Prime Minister appreciated the steps taken by the States and thanked them for sharing their experiences and giving suggestions. He talked about the urgent need of capacity building of healthcare workers and augmentation of healthcare infrastructure. Modi said that the COVID-19 Economic Task Force set up by the Central Government will formulate the strategy to devise suitable approach to effectively tackle the economic challenge.
 
He urged the Chief Ministers to 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. In his address to the nation on Thursday, Modi highlighted the scale of coronavirus’ impact and noted that there is a view that India has averted the crisis and all is well. “This mindset is not correct. Complacency in respect of a global pandemic like coronavirus is not appropriate. It is essential that each and every Indian remains alert and cautious,” he said. Studies of the countries hit by the pandemic have revealed that it exploded after a few days, and the number of people infected by it grew at a very rapid pace, he pointed out.
 
States to prevent black marketing and undue price rise. “He urged them to use soft power of persuasion as well as legal provisions, wherever necessary,” the statement said. During the course of their presentations, the Chief Ministers requested for augmentation of testing facilities, greater support to vulnerable sections, advancement of financial disbursement for 2020-21 to the States and need for roping in private labs and hospitals in larger numbers, the statement said. Modi stressed the need to avoid panic. Given the global context of spread of the virus, constant vigilance is of paramount importance, he said, adding participation of citizens in combating the virus is a must.
 
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and his Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh counterparts Uddhav Thackeray and Yogi Adityanath were among those who attended the video conference. Modi has been pitching for involvement of people and local authorities to check the spread of the virus. According to the statement, the Union Health Secretary gave an overview of the 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. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) DG Balram Bhargava said India is currently in phase two of transmission, emphasising that at present the country is in the window for taking action to minimise the risk of transmission of phase three. He talked about the importance of judicious use of health facilities and need to focus on ramping up quarantine facilities and isolation wards.
 
The Chief Ministers, the statement said, thanked the Prime Minister for the Centre’s support to the States in combating the virus and also appreciated the impact of Modi’s message in his address to the nation. They briefed the Prime Minister and others about the preparations done till now by their respective states and assured that they will work together with the Centre to combat the pandemic. The Prime Minister appreciated the steps taken by the States and thanked them for sharing their experiences and giving suggestions. He talked about the urgent need of capacity building of healthcare workers and augmentation of healthcare infrastructure. Modi said that the COVID-19 Economic Task Force set up by the Central Government will formulate the strategy to devise suitable approach to effectively tackle the economic challenge.
 
He urged the Chief Ministers to 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. In his address to the nation on Thursday, Modi highlighted the scale of coronavirus’ impact and noted that there is a view that India has averted the crisis and all is well. “This mindset is not correct. Complacency in respect of a global pandemic like coronavirus is not appropriate. It is essential that each and every Indian remains alert and cautious,” he said. Studies of the countries hit by the pandemic have revealed that it exploded after a few days, and the number of people infected by it grew at a very rapid pace, he pointed out.
 
Highest 50 cases reported in a day, total 223
 
NEW DELHI :
 
INDIA reported 50 fresh cases of COVID-19, highest in a day, taking the tally to 223 on Friday, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed with chief ministers ways and preparedness of the states to check and prevent the spread of coronavirus, which has claimed more than 10,000 lives globally. A spike in numbers prompted the States and UTs to reinforce its efforts to contain the spread. While the Maharashtra Chief Minister said that all workplaces in major cities, including in country’s commercial hub Mumbai and Pune, will remain closed till March 31, the Delhi Chief Minister announced shutting down of all malls in the national capital, but exempted grocery stores and pharmacies in them.As coronavirus continued its upward trajectory across the country, authorities faced double-barrel challenge --strengthening its check and prevention mechanism, and addressing public panic, leading to hoarding of essential items.
 
Despite appeals by leaders not to panic and not to hoard items, long lines were seen at grocery stores, pharmacies and outlets selling other essential stuff, throwing the caution of ‘social distancing’ to the wind. Many in public dealing, including traders, responded to Modi’s call for a ‘janata curfew’ on Sunday, saying they will shut their establishments while a number of people opted for self-isolation as a precaution. Among those found positive for the novel coronavirus are 32 foreign nationals, including 17 from Italy, three from the Philippines, two from the UK, one each belonging to Canada, Indonesia and Singapore. The figure also included four deaths reported from Delhi, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra so far. Meanwhile, a 69-year-old Italian tourist who had “recovered” from the novel coronavirus died at a private hospital in Jaipur after suffering a massive cardiac arrest late on Thursday night, SMS Medical College principal Sudhir Bhandari said. Delhi has, so far, reported 17 positive cases which included one foreigner, while Uttar Pradesh has recorded 23 cases, including one foreigner.
 
Maharashtra has 52 cases, including three foreigners, while Kerala has recorded 28 cases which included two foreign nationals. Karnataka has 15 coronavirus patients. The number of cases in Ladakh rose to 10 and Jammu and Kashmir four. Telangana has reported 17 cases which included nine foreigners. Rajasthan has also reported 17 cases including two foreigners. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC were also imposed in Rajasthan’s Bhilwara district from Friday after a doctor at a private hospital was tested positive for COVID-19. While Tamil Nadu and Andhara Pradesh have reported three cases each, there are 17 cases, including 14 foreigners in Haryana. Odisha has two cases while Uttarakhand has three so far. West Bengal and Punjab reported two cases each while Pondicherry and Chandigarh Punjab have reported one case each.