Hemant convenes all-party meet on Covid on Saturday
Chief minister Hemant Soren has convened an all-party meeting on Saturday to discuss plans to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Jharkhand, his decision coming after the state reported on Thursday close to 3,500 cases, the highest single-day spike of cases since the outbreak of the virus in March last year.
Fatalities are also increasing by the day with the state's health infrastructure coming under stress, battling both resource and manpower crunch.
Hemant will hold a virtual meeting at 6.30pm and has appealed to all political parties to attend. In a statement, he said, “An all-party meeting has been fixed through online mode at 6.30pm tomorrow (Saturday) to discuss the ways to combat Covid-19 in the state. I also appeal to everyone in the state to stay safe and practice Covid appropriate behavior.”
Soon after returning to Ranchi on Thursday after his marathon election campaigning for Madhupur bypoll on April 17, Hemant held a meeting with the state disaster management authorities at his residence. In attendance were state health minister Banna Gupta, chief secretary Sukhdev Singh and other top officials.
Speaking to reporters after the deliberations at Thursday's meeting, Hemant said it was time to take tough decisions to control the worsening situation.
The government will in all likelihood postpone or cancel state board exams scheduled from May 4 as Jharkhand Academic Council terminated ongoing practical examinations with immediate effect on Friday. Hemant said that since CBSE and other state boards announced postponement of exams, Jharkhand would also take a call soon.
On restrictions being planned, Hemant said that they were evaluating the situation and considering all options.
“I anticipate more cases in coming weeks as The Union government is running special trains from Covid hotspot to states like Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. Also, there is an issues of pending test reports. We are setting up six more RT PCR labs and buying high-end machines to reduce pendency of reports. We are also working out places to double bed capacity, especially in the ICU at RIMS in Ranchi,” he had said.
State finance minister Rameshwar Oraon told the media in Lohardaga on Friday after a meeting with the district administration that while a total lockdown wasn't required in Jharkhand, there was a need for more curbs to break the transmission chain. “We have to see how we can balance lives and livelihood,” he commented.
Jharkhand State Bar Council (JSBC) instructed all its affiliated bodies on Friday to ensure that advocates appear in person before any court for any judicial work till further orders. JSBC secretary Rajesh Pandey sent letters to all district bar units in this regard.