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PM Modi asks other states to adopt Punjab’s COVID-combat model

CHANDIGARH, JUN 16 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 6/16/2020 10:12:43 AM IST

Appreciating Punjab’s COVID micro-containment and house-to-house surveillance strategy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Tuesday, asked all other states to adopt the model, which was helping Punjab successfully in controlling the spread of the pandemic, a press release by the state government read.

The Prime Minister intervened as Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh was describing the state’s model to combat COVID-19 and suggested that all states should follow the same strategic approach to effectively counter the pandemic.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted a video-conference meeting with the Chief Ministers as part of his scheduled two-day interactions to review the COVID-19 situation and management strategies of all states.

During the meeting, Captain Amarinder Singh suggested to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to set up a group which should include a few Chief Ministers to discuss and formulate a coordinated Centre-State response to the devastating impact of the pandemic on the economy and governments across the country.

During the video conference, which was joined by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh requested that the Centre should work closely with the states to ease the distress caused by the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.

While living with the pandemic was the new normal since the lockdown could not continue indefinitely as the cycle of the economy, once broken, took a long time to restart, the need of the hour was to take care of both lives and livelihoods, as the Prime Minister had himself said in his video-conference in April, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh pointed out, the press release by the state government further read. Calling for urgent steps to mitigate Punjab’s financial stress, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said a detailed memorandum had already been sent to the Government of India, listing out the impact of COVID-19 and also seeking fiscal and non-fiscal assistance.

Even as he thanked the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister for the release of GST payment of around Rs 2,800 crore in early June, Captain Amarinder said while he appreciated that the Government of India was also under financial stress, he had to request for release of the state’s pending share of taxes to tide over the fiscal crisis. The crisis in Punjab was likely to be acute with around Rs 25,000 to 30,000 crore shortfall in revenue collection on various counts, he said.

Even though Punjab’s contribution to the all-India cases was less than 1 per cent (at 3,140 cases) at present, with a mortality rate of 2.1 per cent and recovery rate of 75 per cent, the curve was rising as a result of the inbound travellers and the easing of restrictions and more mixing of people, the Chief Minister said, giving a status update on the COVID-19 situation prevailing in the state.

On the state’s preparedness to tackle the further spread of the pandemic, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh informed the meeting that 5,000 isolation beds were ready in Government Level 2 and 3 facilities, in addition to 10,000 to 15,000 beds in Level 1 COVID Care Centres for mild patients. These Level 1 beds could be scaled to 30,000 if the need arose, he said, adding that for tertiary level care, the state government had also secured the participation of private hospitals for tertiary level care.

Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said the state government was working on a multi-pronged strategy to fight the pandemic. Some restrictions had been imposed over the weekends and holidays, and strict enforcement of all protocols was being ensured through fines. The focus was currently on the micro-containment strategy to isolate small ‘mohallas’ or village wards rather than close down larger areas, he said, adding that a special app had also been launched for house-to-house surveillance to detect any possible cases and persons with co-morbidities to catch high-risk patients early.

Captain Amarinder also spoke about the Mission Fateh launched to generate public awareness and the focus on facilitating a behavioural change through celebrity endorsements, videos, on-ground activities and through fines.

 

-Tags:#PM Modi

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