Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked chief ministers and health ministers of seven states and union territories with high number of COVID-19 cases to review the efficacy of lockdowns spanning one to two days. He also urged them to assess whether these restrictions hinder economic activities in their states.
The Prime Minister addressed a virtual meeting with chief ministers and health ministers from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, and Punjab on Wednesday.
PM Modi also asked the states to resolve troubles in inter-state transport of goods and services, including life-saving drugs and oxygen. We have to ensure that medicines are can be shipped smoothly across states, he added.
"Past experiences have shown that interrupted movement of services and goods from one state to another causes unnecessary hardship to ordinary citizens. This affects the lives and livelihoods of people. Now, in the last few days, there have been problems in many states due to the supply of oxygen. Every necessary step has to be taken to ensure uninterrupted supply of life-saving oxygen. India has ensured the supply of life saving medicines in the world even in difficult times. In such a situation, we have to see to it that medicines easily reach from one state to another," Modi said.
Referring to substantial increase in number of COVID-19 patients every day, PM Modi said that more than 10 lakh tests are being conducted daily and number of recovered patients is also growing rapidly. He urged the states to emulate best practices being followed at state and regional levels.
He also informed that limit for use of State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) has been increased from 35 per cent to 50 per cent, which will help states procure more funds for developing coronavirus-specific infrastructure.
"We need to further increase our focus on effective testing, tracing, treatment, surveillance and clear messaging," the Prime Minister said.