PM Modi plans staggered exit from lockdown4Photo©

PM Modi plans staggered exit from lockdown

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Underlining that “in the next few weeks, testing, tracing, isolation and quarantine should remain the areas of focus” in the country’s war against the coronavirus threat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday told all state chief ministers to “formulate a common exit strategy to ensure staggered re-emergence of the population once the lockdown ends” on April 14. He, however, warned that the global situation remains “far from satisfactory” and that there was speculation of a “possible second wave of spread of the virus in some countries”.

Interacting with the CMs via video-conference from New Delhi, Modi, according to an official statement, said: “Considering this is the time to harvest crops, the government has given some relaxation from lockdown, but it is necessary to continuously monitor and maintain social distancing as much as possible”. He asked the states to “think of other platforms for procuring grains apart from APMC, and explore the possibility of creating pooling platforms for rural areas, like that in ride-sharing apps”.

Underscoring the importance of coordinated action and the need to avoid overlaps in efforts of stakeholders, Modi said there was need to form crisis management groups at the district level and appoint district surveillance officers. He said data must be taken from accredited laboratories for testing — this will ensure congruence in data of district, state and centre. He said it is “necessary to ensure staggered release of funds” to beneficiaries under the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana to avoid crowding at banks.