Need to think about Unlock 2.0, speed up economic activities with due precautions: PM Modi tells chief ministers

New Delhi [India], June 17 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday spoke about the need to speed up economic activities with due precautions in place and said the country now needs to think of the second phase of `Unlock' and how to minimize possibilities of harm to people.

Addressing the second part of his two-day interaction with chief ministers via video conferencing to discuss the situation `post Unlock 1.0' and plan for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, he said that the collective commitment to fight against the virus will lead the country to victory.

A PMO release said that he talked about the need to fight rumours of lockdown, mentioning that the country is now in the phase of unlocking.

"We need to now think about phase 2 of Unlock and how to minimize all possibilities of harm to our people," he said.

He underlined that with reduction in restrictions, indicators of economic performance are showing signs of revival. Inflation has also been kept under control.

The Prime Minister asked the states to take steps to boost infrastructure and construction-related work.

He listed steps taken under the Atmanirbhar Bharat to provide a fillip to MSMEs, farming and agriculture marketing and also underscored the need to remain alert to effectively tackle the challenges faced by the migrant labourers in the coming months.

Prime Minister Modi talked about the presence of better health infrastructure and trained manpower to meet the challenge.

He highlighted the increase in domestic manufacturing capabilities of PPEs, masks, availability of diagnostic kits in adequate quantity, supply of ventilators made in India using PM CARES fund, availability of testing labs, lakhs of COVID special beds, thousands of isolation and quarantine centres, and adequate human resource through training.

The Prime Minister stressed the importance of testing to quickly trace, track and isolate those affected.

"The existing testing capacity needs to be utilized fully, and along with constant efforts for expansion," he said while mentioning the benefits of telemedicine and the need to create a big team of senior doctors who can guide and inform the sick through this means.

He also talked about spreading timely and correct information through the helplines and the need to build a team of young volunteers to run the helplines effectively.

The Prime Minister observed that the states where Aarogya Setu app has been downloaded in large numbers are witnessing positive results. "Efforts should be made to increase the reach of the app," he said.

Modi talked about being vigilant against health-related problems that come with the monsoon.

He also underlined the emotional aspect of the battle against the virus, including battling the fear of being afflicted and the stigma attached by making people aware of the high number of those who have defeated the virus and recovered.

"Our priority must remain to help and support our corona warriors, doctors and health care workers. Jan Bhaagidaari is essential in this fight and said that people must be constantly reminded to use masks, face cover, and maintain physical distancing," Modi said.

According to the release, the Chief Ministers thanked the Prime Minister for his leadership and briefed him about the ground situation in the states and their preparedness to tackle the impact of the virus.

"They talked about health infrastructure available to meet the challenge and steps taken to strengthen it further, support provided to frontline workers, monitoring in containment zones, campaigns to encourage usage of masks and other safety precautions, increase in testing, and providing gainful employment opportunities to the migrants who have returned," it said.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the country has so far been quite successful in its fight against the virus under the leadership of the Prime Minister but the battle is far from over.

He underlined that as "we begin to unlock, we must stay vigilant".

The release said that OSD Health Ministry mentioned about the continuous decline in the growth rate of cases during the phases of lockdown and subsequently also in Unlock 1.0.

He briefed about the positive outcomes of lockdown including a large number of cases averted and lives saved, the spread of awareness, and ramping up of health infrastructure. "He also informed that the number of cases and deaths per lakh of population in India are amongst the lowest in the world," the release said.

The second part of the two-day interaction saw participation from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana and Odisha. (ANI)