Wednesday, Aug 10, 2022

Lockdown: PM Modi To Interact With CMs Today To Discuss Exit Strategy

This will be the fifth meeting of the prime minister with the chief ministers since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairs a meeting of the National Disaster Management Authority regarding the situation in Visakhapatnam, in New Delhi. PTI Photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with chief ministers of various states via video conference today afternoon, the Prime Minister's Office said.

This will be the fifth meeting of the prime minister with the chief ministers since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

The Prime Minister's Office took to Twitter to share the information that he would hold the meeting via video-conference at around 3 p.m.

"PM Narendra Modi to hold the 5th meeting via video-conference with state Chief Ministers tomorrow (Monday) afternoon at 3 p.m.," PMO India tweeted.

Sources in the government said the focus of the meeting would be on boosting economic activities and pushing efforts to convert 'red' zones with high COVID-19 case load into 'orange' or 'green' zones.

The number of COVID-19 infections has more than doubled since the prime minister interacted with the chief ministers last on April 27 -- from just over 28,000 cases to nearly 63,000 cases.

Days after the meeting, the central government had extended the lockdown by two more weeks till May 17 to arrest the spread of the virus, but gave several relaxations in economic activities and movement of people. 

The nationwide lockdown has been in force since March 25.

Several states have recently relaxed labour laws to pump up industrial activities with staggered shifts or limited staff as a fresh spike in coronavirus cases could undo the gains so far.

Monday's meeting could also discuss further relaxations as part of a graded exit from the lockdown but all restrictions are unlikely to be withdrawn in one go, the sources suggested.

The meeting comes days before the third phase of the lockdown ends on May 17.

The announcement comes after Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba chaired a meeting with Chief Secretaries and Health Secretaries of all states and Union Territories (UTs) to review their status of COVID-19 management. As the Chief Secretaries informed Gauba about the situation in their respective states and also said that while protection is required from COVID, the economic activities also needed to be stepped up in a calibrated manner, the Prime Minister also want to take stock of situation in one-on-one discussion with the Chief Ministers of these states.

The lockdown, enforced on March 25, was originally supposed to end on April 14. It was then extended to May 3, and then again to May 17.

(With PTI Inputs)