Dismissing rumours of lockdown reimposition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that there is a need to fight "rumours of lockdown." PM Modi asked states and Union Territories to get ready for Unlock 2.0 while being careful of challenges. PM Modi urged states to make full use of their existing testing capacity and work to boost health infrastructure.
"We, now need to focus on phase 2 of the Unlock process, while at the same time, how to minimise any possibilities of harm to citizens," Modi said while addressing states and Union Territories in the second round of virtual meeting to review the current situation amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Telangana and Odisha and the Lieutenant General of Jammu & Kashmir met Modi on Wednesday.
Modi on Tuesday had said that steps taken in the past few weeks have helped the economy to recover. "With the steps taken in the last few weeks, green shoots are now visible in the economy. Power consumption, which was earlier reducing is increasing. Fertiliser sale in May this year has doubled since May last year. This time, Kharif sowing is 12-13% more compared to last time," Modi had said in the first round of the meeting. India was under lockdown between March 25 and May 31. The government decided to reopen the economy in a staggered manner from June.
"We have to always keep in mind that the more we can stop the corona, the more it will stop growing, the more our economy will open, our offices will open, the markets will open, the means of transport will open, and so will new employment opportunities," Modi had also said.
These meetings come on the heels of a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the country. India has now become the fourth worst coronavirus-affected country in the world.