'Need to focus on economy as well'

Updated: Apr 28, 2020, 08:20 IST | Agencies | New Delhi

In a video-conference with chief ministers, PM Modi says that it is important for states to enforce prescribed guidelines

Farmers, traders and vendors gather at a wholesale vegetable market on the outskirts of Amritsar. Pic/AFP
Farmers, traders and vendors gather at a wholesale vegetable market on the outskirts of Amritsar. Pic/AFP

As India enters the final week of the lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday conveyed to chief ministers that the country will have to give importance to the economy as well as continue the fight against the Novel Coronavirus.

In a video-conference with the chief ministers, fourth such interaction since March 22 when he first spoke to them on the pandemic, Modi also highlighted the importance for states to enforce prescribed guidelines strictly in the Coronavirus hotspots, the government said in a statement.

The PM underlined that the nationwide lockdown has "yielded positive results as the country has managed to save thousands of lives in the past one-and-a-half months", it said. "The PM said that the country has seen two lockdowns till now, both different in certain aspects, and now we have to think of the way ahead. He said that as per experts, the impact of Coronavirus will remain visible in the coming months," the statement added.

Modi also said that masks and face covers will become part of lives of people in the days ahead, adding everyone's aim must be to ensure rapid response under the current circumstances. He emphasised on the importance of the use of technology as much as possible. "The situation in many countries, including India, was almost similar at the start of March. However, due to timely measures, India has been able to protect many people," the statement said quoting the Prime Minister.

CRPF reaches out to cops over jawan's arrest

The CRPF has taken up with the Karnataka Police the "unpleasant" case of alleged manhandling and handcuffing of its CoBRA commando by cops and has sent a team to follow-up on the matter, officials said on Monday. The CoBRA unit of the CRPF specialises in guerrilla tactics and jungle warfare. The force has written a letter to Karnataka Director General of Police (DGP), Praveen Sood stating that the "unpleasant situation could have been avoided had the state police taken the CRPF hierarchy into confidence before making the arrest" of the jawan on April 23 in Belagavi district.

As govts decide on next plan of action...

. SC rejects petition: The SC on Monday declined to entertain a petition seeking direction to the Centre to conduct en masse door-to-door testing for COVID-19 and challenging the validity of PM CARES fund, and termed it having "political colour."

. Kanpur a Corona hotspot: With 33 more Corona positive cases emerging in the past 24 hours, Kanpur is now a major COVID-19 hotspot in UP after Agra. The tally of Corona positive cases in Kanpur is now 185 and the city has 25 hotspots.

.Lockdown extension: Odisha Health Minister, Naba Kishore Das on Monday said that the COVID-19 lockdown should be extended for another month. "There is a need for the extension of lockdown and it should further be extended by one month," said Das after attending the video-conference of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and chief ministers of all states.

. COVID cess on ultra-rich: Former Karnataka chief minister, H D Kumaraswamy on Monday suggested imposing "COVID cess" on the ultra rich to offset the loss of revenue, as he called for citizen-centric measures and lower the cost of living, to help those affected by the lockdown.

. Relaxations in Meghalaya: The Meghalaya government on Monday relaxed a number of activities including sale of essential goods, courier services for essential goods, e-commerce operations in essential goods and Common Service Centres during the lockdown period.

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