In his interaction with the seven chief ministers on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the states to assess the impact of localised lockdowns. He indicated his scepticism over local lockdowns imposed for a day or two in an attempt to curb spread of coronavirus. PM Modi urged the states to assess if these lockdowns were indeed effective or only hindering economic recovery.
The Prime Minister urged the states to weigh the impact and utility of local lockdowns and emphasised on the implementation of "micro containment zones". He suggested that micro containment zones would not only curb the spread but also allow usual economic activities, as mentioned in a report in Times of India.
Centre had asked states to avoid arbitrary lockdowns as implemented in July and August as it was seen hurting economic activity.
PM Modi also highlighted the crucial role of masks in overcoming coronavirus. He also said that there are 700 districts in the country but only 60 districts in seven states are a cause of concern. "I suggest CMs hold virtual conferences with people at district or block level for seven days. We have to learn from the best practices from across the states," he said.
PM Modi interacted with the chief ministers of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Delhi. Government statement had earlier said that these states contributed to 65.5 per cent of the total cases and 77 per cent of COVID-19 deaths in the country.
The PM also pushed for effective testing, tracing, treatment as well as surveillance. "Effective messaging is also necessary because most Covid-19 infections are asymptomatic. In such a situation, rumours may rise. It might raise doubts in the minds of the people that testing is bad. Some people also make the mistake of underestimating the severity of infection," Modi added.
India added 86,508 new cases on Thursday morning, taking the total to over 57 lakh cases. More than 91,000 deaths have also been reported. India is currently the second worst-affected country in the world.