The government on Monday hinted at a "gradual withdrawal" of the lockdown amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis in the country. "Even as we look at the gradual withdrawal of the lockdown, we should constantly remember that till we do not find a vaccine or a solution, the biggest weapon with us to the fight the virus is social distancing," PMO quoted Prime Minister Narendra Modi as saying in an official release on Monday. The statement comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's marathon meeting with chief ministers on ways to strengthen the COVID-19 containment strategy and stepping up of economic activities in a calibrated manner as the 54-day nationwide lockdown nears an end.
Only a limited number of trains to ply, all routes won't be resumed
Talking about the resumption of train services, the prime minister said the move is needed to rev up the economic activity. He also made it clear that all the routes will not be resumed. Only a limited number of trains would ply, a statement from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) quoted him as saying.
CMs to share a broad strategy by May 15
During the marathon meeting via video-conferencing, Modi asked all the Chief Ministers to share by May 15 a broad strategy on how they want to deal with lockdown regime in their states, the release said. “I request you all to share with me by 15th May, a broad strategy on how you each one of you would want to deal with the lockdown regime in your particular states. I want states to make a blue print on how to deal with various nuances during and after the gradual easing of the lockdown”, he said.
Measures in the third phase not needed in the fourth phase of lockdown
" I am of the firm view that the measures needed in the first phase of lockdown were not needed during the 2nd phase and similarly the measures needed in the 3rd Phase are not needed in the fourth," the release further quoted the prime minister as saying.
Potential for domestic tourism; embrace new models of teaching in education
Talking about tourism, Modi said he saw the potential for domestic tourism "but we need to think of the contours of the same". He asked the policymakers to also keep in mind how to embrace new models of teaching and learning in the education sector.
Beware of non-COVID diseases with onset of monsoon
"We will need an all-encompassing approach to deal with various challenges that will arise before us. With the onset of Monsoon, there will be proliferation of many non-COVID19 diseases, for which we must prepare and strengthen our medical and health systems," the prime minister said.
Chief Ministers' say
The official release said that the chief ministers appreciated the leadership of PM Modi in the country's fight against COVID-19 and also highlighted the need to strengthen the medical and health infrastructure in the country. Several of them pointed out that with the return of migrants, there is a need to concentrate on strict implementation of the social distancing guidelines, usage of masks and sanitization in order to curb the spread through fresh infection, especially in rural areas.
The compulsory quarantining of the stranded Indians returning from abroad was also highlighted during the meet. On the economy front, the chief ministers in their suggestions on the economy, sought support to MSMEs, infrastructure projects like power, easing of interest rates on loans and assured market access to the agricultural produce. Prime Minister reaffirmed the importance of Do Gaz Ki doori and added that suggestion of night curfew raised by many CMs would surely reaffirm the feeling of caution among people, the release mentioned.