Day 2 of PM Modi's consultation with chief ministers on Covid-19 today

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold the second round of consultation with chief ministers of various states on Wednesday, on the Covid-19 situation in the country.

Today’s interaction will be held with chief ministers of 15 states, including Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi, Karnataka, Gujarat, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, and the LG of Jammu and Kashmir. These are the states where coronavirus cases are on a much higher side.

However, there are reports that West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee may not attend the virtual meeting after the state was not allowed a spot as a speaker. News agency PTI said Mamata Banerjee is “undecided” about participating in a virtual meeting.

The situation in national capital Delhi, which has seen a huge spike in the number of Covid-19 cases, will be discussed at length today. Home minister Amit Shah earlier held a series of meeting on the situation in Delhi - first with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, and then with mayors of Delhi’s civic bodies.

On the first day of the consultations, the Prime Ministers told the chief ministers that the Indian economy was witnessing a recovery, and that “cooperative federalism” helped India deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We must focus on both life and livelihood, boost health infrastructure, testing and tracing as well as increase economic activity,” he said.

PM Modi also said that deaths were contained to a minimum and that, with adequate precautions, India could emerge from the battle against the disease with “minimal damage”.

The chief ministers provided feedback about existing health infrastructure in their states and efforts to augment the medical facilities. Tuesday’s interaction included CMs from Punjab, Assam, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Tripura and Himachal Pradesh among other states.

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh spoke about micro-containment zones — an idea that found support from the Prime Minister. Singh said that in his state, the authorities were not sealing the entire street or an area if cases were found in a house; they were sealing only a few houses. Modi appreciated the idea and said other states could consider this model for replication.

On the healthcare front, the PM said that timely decisions taken to tackle the pandemic contained the spread of the disease in India. “When India’s fight against Covid-19 will be analysed in the future, this time will be remembered for how we worked together and served as an example of cooperative federalism. We have tried to save each and every life.”

In particular, he highlighted India’s lower case fatality rate compared to the rest of the world, and the recovery rate.

The PM’s comments come at a time when India reported a total of 353,853 cases, with 11,919 deaths.

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