Modi hint of Unlock 2.0

New Delhi

PM Modi on Wednesday dropped clear hints of forthcoming Unlock 2.0, telling the chief ministers of over a dozen states on the second day of interactions that, ‘we need to now think about phase 2 of Unlock and how to minimize all possibilities of harm to our people’.

He stressed the collective commitment of the Centre and the states to fight against the virus will lead India to victory and talked, about the need to speed up economic activities with due precautions in place. He talked about the need to fight rumours of another lockdown.

He noted that with reduction in restrictions, indicators of economic performance are showing signs of revival. Inflation has also been kept under control. He asked the states to take steps to boost infrastructure and construction related work. He listed steps taken under Atmanirbhar Bharat to provide a fillip to MSMEs, farming and agriculture marketing. He also underscored the need to remain alert to effectively tackle the challenges faced by the migrant labourers in the coming months.

This was the second part of the Prime Minister's two-day interaction on tackling the Covid-19 pandemic with the chief ministers of 14 states, including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, MP, Karnataka, Bihar, Andhra, Haryana, J&K, Telangana and Odisha.

A PMO press release on the dialogue also included West Bengal, though its chief minister Mamata Banerjee had declared not be be a part of such useless exercises. It dismissed what all the chief ministers said in a single para that they briefed Modi about the ground situation, health infrastructure available in their respective states, support provided to frontline workers and monitoring of containment zones, besides providing gainful employment opportunities to migrants who have returned.

Noting greater spread of the virus, in certain big states and cities because of high density of population and difficulty in maintaining physical distancing, and daily movement of people in huge numbers, the PM said the spread of the dreaded disease has been kept under check because of patience of citizens, readiness of administration and dedication of corona warriors.

He stressed the importance of testing to quickly trace, track and isolate those affected. The existing testing capacity, needs to be utilised fully, and along with constant efforts for expansion, he said. He mentioned, the benefits of telemedicine and the need to create a big team of senior doctors who can guide and inform the sick through it.

Modi talked about the emotional aspect of the battle against virus, including battling fear of being afflicted and the stigma attached by making people aware, of the high number of those who have defeated the virus and recovered. Our priority, must remain to help and support our corona warriors, doctors and health care workers.

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