PM-CM Strategy Meet on COVID-19
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his fifth video-conference with chief ministers, urged the states to focus on reducing the spread of coronavirus and ensuring that all precautions were taken by people, including social distancing.
Although chief ministers spoke on region specific issues, they tended to maintain unity on timely and phased removal of the nationwide lockdown. States also raised concerns about the crisis for thousands of migrants, stranded because of the lockdown since March-end.
Indicating broad-based relaxing of lockdown after May 17, Modi said” I am of the firm view that the measures needed in the first phase of lockdown were not needed during the 2nd phase and similarly the measures needed in the 3rd Phase are not needed the fourth.”
Tamil Nadu CM E Palanisami urged the Prime minister not to resume flights and trains this month. Tamil Nadu, especially Chennai, has seen a surge in coronavirus cases. Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy sought relaxation of lockdown measures, with strict adherence of personal hygiene protocols. He said there are 97,000 MSME employees and 9 lakh people, therefore government needs to protect this sector.
West Bengal CM Mamata appealed to the centre to not play politics in this crucial time emphasizing that the state is surrounded by international borders and other bigger states and have challenges to deal with.
North East CMs are working together as a team to combat Covid-19, said Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu and sought PM’s intervention to take the state back on the track for investment in Agri and Horticulture sectors.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appeared unequivocal on restarting economic activities in national capital, except in coronavirus containment zones which are in strict lockdown to check the spread of the virus. Maharshtra CM Uddhav Thackeray asked for local trains to be started in MMR region. Punjab Chief minister Amarinder Singh demanded that in case of a graded exit from the lockdown based on red, orange and green zones, state administrations be allowed to decide where restrictions can be eased.