Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to interact with chief ministers of all states on Monday, April 27, via video conference, sources said Wednesday. This will be his fourth video interaction with the chief ministers since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country.
In his last interaction with the CMs on April 11, it was mutually agreed to extend the lockdown that was earlier decided till April 14. On April 2, the Prime Minister had discussed with the chief ministers the need of a common but staggered exit strategy to lift the lockdown.
Earlier this month, most states had written letters to the Prime Minister asking that the Centre clear their pending dues, as states were scrambling to find funds to undertake even basic relief measures amidst the lockdown.
In the first such virtual conference on March 20, only a few chief ministers were invited for the interaction with the Prime Minister. This was before the initial lockdown was announced on March 25 till April 14. On Monday, chief ministers of all states are likely to take part in the virtual conference.
The total number of COVID-19 patients in India has crossed 20,000 as of April 22, including 3959 recoveries and 652 deaths. The country is under a strict nationwide lockdown till May 3 to contain the transmission of the novel coronavirus.
Despite the large number of cases being reported in the last few days, the spread of the disease in India has slowed down considerably as a result of the lockdown.
Some relaxations were allowed from April 20, including those related to agricultural practices, farming, and horticulture, however, most restrictions continue to be in place.
Earlier in the day, PM Modi asserted that there can be no compromise on the safety of healthcare professionals fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Stating that attacks on healthcare workers “will not be tolerated”, the central government has brought in an ordinance wherein guilty can be sentenced to seven years of imprisonment along with a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh.