'Ensure Staggered Re-emergence After Lockdown Ends': PM to CMs on War Against Coronavirus

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a video conference with chief ministers of all states to discuss ways to check the spread of coronavirus.

Modi told the chief ministers it is important to formulate a common exit strategy to ensure the staggered re-emergence of the population once the lockdown ends on April 14, an official statement said.

Modi told them that to check the spread of the coronavirus, testing, tracing, isolation and quarantine should remain the focus in the next few weeks. He said it is necessary to ensure availability of separate and dedicated hospital facilities for COVID-19 patients.

Modi reiterated the importance of social distancing and asked states to send him suggestions on the “exit strategy” that could be employed to ensure norms were followed even after lockdown ends.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah and top bureaucrats were present at the meeting along with the prime minister.

This is for the second time the prime minister is holding a video conference with the chief ministers after the spread of coronavirus, and the first after the 21-day lockdown came into force.

He had earlier interacted with the CMs on March 20. The lockdown was enforced on March 24.

According to the health ministry, death toll due to coronavirus touched 50 on Thursday while the number of positive cases has risen to 1,965 in the country.

The sudden spike has been attributed to a religious gathering in Delhi’s Nizamuddin where participants from all over the country as well as abroad took part.

The links were traced after six Telangana men who attended the Jamaat event died of coronavirus. This then led to a massive contact tracing programme which traced links to Maharashtra, Karnataka, Assam and even Arunachal Pradesh.