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In second meet with CMs, PM Modi asks states to expand ‘health infrastructure, information systems’

While chief ministers and representatives of 14 states and the union territory, Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jammu and Kashmir participated in the meet, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee chose to skip it.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
June 17, 2020 9:06:14 pm
narendra modi, chief ministers meeting, covid-19 Prime Minister Narendra Modi folds his hands in solidarity for the sacrifices of soldiers along the border with China, during an interaction with chief ministers. (Screen-grab)

In his second virtual meeting with chief ministers of 14 states and Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic situation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday laid emphasis on “health infrastructure, information systems, emotional support, and public participation”.

Chief ministers of Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were among those who attended the meeting even though West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee gave it a miss.

In the meeting over video conferencing, PM Modi said saving lives should be the top priority and asked the states to amplify their capacity to “test, track, trace, and isolate” Covid-19 patients to deal with the pandemic.

PM Modi said big crowds, lack of physical-distancing, daily movement of large number of people, and small houses in some cities have made the battle against the coronavirus “more challenging”.

Reiterating that the two-month-long nationwide lockdown helped to stem the growth of virus, the PM said India was now better placed than earlier in terms of treating patients, health infrastructure and trained manpower.

Praising efforts of states and local administration, he said the country now has more than 900 Covid-19 testing labs, lakhs of special beds, thousands of isolation and quarantine centres, adequate stocks of testing kits, with over one crore PPEs and almost same numbers of N-95 masks supplied to states.

While there has been criticism that some states and cities, including Delhi, were not doing enough testing, PM Modi said the state administration’s work and dedication of corona warriors have ensured that things did not go out of control.

On Covid-19 helpline services, PM Modi said it should be ensured that such services are not “helpless” but helpful for people. He called for building teams of senior doctors and young volunteers to guide patients through tele-medicine and run helplines, respectively.

Modi also called for fighting the stigma associated with the disease, saying people should be assured that there was no need to panic if somebody had been infected as the number of those cured was rising daily.

Before commencing the meeting, PM Modi and the CMs observed a two-minute silence in tribute to the soldiers who died before starting his second meeting with Chief Ministers on the coronavirus crisis.

In the first round of meeting with CMs yesterday, PM Modi had said that the economy was showing green shoots and was expected to pick up further in the coming days. Chief ministers of Punjab, Kerala, Assam, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Goa and Puducherry, besides six Northeast states (Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Sikkim) were present at the meeting, held over video-conference.

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