Only 60 districts cause of concern: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday asked states to press on with full strength in opening economic activities alongside 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.

He noted that only 60 districts out of more than 700 districts across the country, and that too in just seven states, have a high load of cases and therefore a cause of concern. He suggested to chief ministers to draft a one-week programme to interact directly with officials in a few blocks of these places on a daily basis.

This will boost the messaging at the ground level and inject more seriousness and sincerity in fighting the pandemic, he 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. Union Home Minister Amit Shah also participated in the meeting.