Prime Minister Narendra Modi called upon states to focus on micro-containment zones to curb rising cases of COVID-19, so that economic activities are not affected in other areas. He also asked the states to reconsider the initiatives to impose one or two-day lockdowns as this may again hamper economic activities.
Modi was speaking to the chief ministers of the seven states—Punjab, Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka—which have been contributing the maximum number of COVID-19 cases.
“There are only 60 districts out of the total 700 in the country where high number of cases are being reported. If we can focus on these areas, then we can control the spread. I have a suggestion. If the chief minister can spare one hour daily and hold video conference with the administrators and the people of of each blocks in these districts, it will help in instilling seriousness and sincerity in COVID-19 controlling measures,” the PM said.
Modi emphasised that all states should focus more on effective testing, tracing, treatment surveillance, and fast messaging. “Effective messaging is also very important. As most of the COVID positive patients are asymptomatic, they may think that the testing system is faulty. This leads to rumours. We must educate them,” he said, and reiterated the importance of wearing masks.
In another message to the states, Modi said the chief ministers should ensure easy movement of goods, especially medicines and oxygen. “We came to know that inter-state movement had hampered people and businesses. It is important that states maintain good coordination for effective supply of oxygen and medicines.”
The prime minister admitted that the number of positive cases are rising, but added that now more than 10 lakh tests are being done every day, and the number of those getting cured is also going up. “We have to strengthen the tracking and tracing capabilities and train those involved in it.”
Modi's message was that economic activities have to continue, while focus should go on the micro-management of the containment zones.
Currently these seven states contribute over 60 per cent of the total cases.