Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday spoke to former Presidents, Prime Ministers and leaders of Opposition parties as India continues to witness a spike in coronavirus infections and deaths.
PM Modi called former Presidents, Pranab Mukherjee and Pratibha Patil, former Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and HD Devegowda, and senior leaders, including Congress's President Sonia Gandhi, Samajwadi Party's Mulayam Singh and Akhilesh Yadav, according to government sources.
He also reached out to Trinamool chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee, Telangana CM K. Chandrashekhar Rao, Odisha's Naveen Patnaik, DMK chief M.K. Stalin, and ally Shiromani Akali Dal's Prakash Singh Badal.
The development comes 11 days after PM Modi announced a 21-day lockdown in the country to contain the spread of the highly contagious virus. The decision for a nationwide lockdown has received mixed reactions from the Opposition and other parties.
On Thursday, the Prime Minister held discussion with various chief ministers via video-conferencing, asking them to send suggestions on a joint strategy for a "staggered" exit from the lockdown. He also urged the CMs to focus on COVID-19 containment measures - testing, tracing, isolation and quarantine- in a coordinated manner to ensure minimum loss of life. He told CMs that it was imperative to work on a war footing, identify hotspots, encircle them and ensure that the infection does not spread out.
Meanwhile, India reported 472 cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, which took the tally over 3,300, the Health Ministry said in its daily briefing on Sunday. So far, 77 people have died in the country. The Ministry added that the rise in cases was due to the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi's Nizamuddin.
With agencies input