On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a video conference, the 4th meeting since March 20, with the Chief Ministers (CMs) of all States and discussed strategies to contain the transmission of the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic. While only nine CMs chose to spoke during the session, the others chose to provide their suggestions through written communication.
Suggestions by the Chief Ministers
Trivendra Singh Rawat, Uttarakhand Chief Minister suggested that business activities must commence in a phased manner while ensuring all precautionary measures. He emphasised that ‘economic revival’ was the key to move forward, amidst the Coronavirus crisis.
Himachal Pradesh CM Jai Ram Thakur informed that the country was in a position to resume economic activities and that the decision regarding lockdown must be made in consultation with other States. He further stated that sensitisation regarding the pandemic was created in the State through Anganwadi centres and that financial help was provided to the poor and needy.
According to Naveen Patnaik, the CM of Odisha, the lockdown should be extended and the ban on religious and the public congregation should be continued. He also urged the Centre to undertake initiatives that help boost the Indian economy. Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma said that the lockdown would be extended in the state beyond May 3 while relaxations would be provided for essential services.
While Mizoram’s CM Zoramthanga assured of compliance with Centre’s directives, Puducherry CM V Narayanasamy sought for immediate intervention from the Centre. He further requested the Union Government to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and financial aid to fight the Chinese virus.
Lockdown extension and economic crisis
While Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh have stressed on slowly resuming normalcy, other states have stressed on carrying on with the lockdown. It is notable here that so far, several states, including Goa, Arunachal Pradesh, and Tripura have reported zero fresh cases in the last few weeks. In Odisha, the coronavirus patients are mostly clustered in 3 districts. While many economic experts have suggested a gradual easing into normalcy, the final decision by the centre before May 3 is anxiously awaited.