A day after addressing the nation and emphasizing the need for social distancing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a video conferencing meeting with state chief ministers on Friday to talk about the deadly coronavirus outbreak that is steadily spreading across India.
As per people with knowledge on the matter, PM Modi, in his interaction with CMs said that the next three to four weeks are crucial in the fight against SARS-Cov-2, which causes Covid-19. He urged all ministers to amp up efforts to battle the pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 10,000 people worldwide. He assured them of all possible help from the Centre. This was the prime minister's first interaction through video conferencing with all chief ministers.
Repeating his words from Thursday, Modi asserted that there was no need to panic. He asked the states to work with the Centre in this crucial time in the spread of the novel virus.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee requested the government to allow private hospitals to test for and treat the disease given the increasing pressure on government hospitals.
India’s health ministry plans to permit 51 private laboratories to start testing, although it has not actioned this yet. Health ministry officials also added that they are already in touch with private hospitals and will engage them if and when the need arises.
Prime Minister Modi said the “threat of the pandemic is common for all states” and the state and centre must join hands to fight the COVID-19. As per a participant, the prime minister said that the participation of people is at the core of the success of any strategy.
He reasserted the importance of social distancing and self-isolation.
Apart from the PM, the meeting was attended by all CMs and senior officials of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
Union health secretary Preeti Sudan briefed the CMs about the steps taken so far and added that Modi is personally monitoring India’s response to the crisis.