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Focus on micro-containment to fight Covid: Modi to states

The PM also questioned the efficacy of one or two-day local lockdowns imposed by certain states from time to time
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Our Bureau And Agencies   |   New Delhi   |   Published 23.09.20, 10:40 PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday asked states to press on with full strength in opening economic activities along with fighting the coronavirus pandemic and suggested that they should now focus on "micro-containment zones" to curb the disease.

In a review meeting through video conference with chief ministers and representatives of seven states with a high burden of Covid-19 cases, Modi said having micro containment zones will help states in dealing with the spread of the infection and also allow normal activities to continue.

The Prime Minister also questioned the efficacy of one or two-day local lockdowns imposed by certain states from time to time and asked them to reassess as to how effective they are in curbing the disease.

"Is it that this is creating difficulties in the resumption of economic activities in your states? This is my request that all states consider it seriously," he said.

Several states, including Bengal and Punjab, have from time to time imposed local lockdowns to contain the virus spread.

He noted that only 60 districts out of more than 700 districts across the country, and that too in seven states, have a high number of cases.

He suggested that the chief ministers draft a one-week programme to interact directly with officials in a few blocks of the recognised locations on a daily basis.

The nationwide lockdown after the pandemic's outbreak benefitted us a lot, and the world has also lauded it, Modi said.

"We should now focus only on micro-containment zones so that coronavirus spread is curbed and normal activities of life will also continue... We have to enhance our focus on effective testing, tracing, treatment, surveillance and clear messaging," he said.

"We have to continue with the patience, empathy, dialogue and cooperation which the country has displayed during these corona times. While battling the infection, we have to press on with full strength on the economic front," Modi added.

Chief ministers and other representatives, including health ministers of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Punjab attended the meeting. Union Home Minister Amit Shah was also present.

An official statement had earlier said that more than 63 per of the active cases in the country are concentrated in these seven states. These states also account for 65.5 per cent of the total confirmed cases and 77 per cent of the total deaths.

Acknowledging the continuous rise in the Covid-19 cases, he noted that over 10 lakh tests are being conducted on a daily basis and the number of people recovering is also going up sharply.

Noting that most of the Covid-19 patients are asymptomatic, Modi said an effective messaging is all the more important as rumours often get spread and the common man wonders if the testing is wrong.

He also said that wearing a mask is important in stopping the virus spread. The country has been able to supply medicines across the world during such hard times, Modi added.

The infrastructure developed to treat Covid-19 in the last few months has been very helpful, and it has to be strengthened further and the tracking-tracing network should be given better training, he said.

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