Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath asked newly elected village heads on Friday to strive for making their hamlets free of the coronavirus.
"My village, corona-free village" should be the goal of every villager and there should be a healthy competition among panchayats to achieve the target, the chief minister said while interacting with the village heads through video conferencing.
At a time when the fight against the coronavirus was reaching a decisive stage, the role of village heads becomes more important, he said.
"Panchayati Raj system is the most important link in our democratic system. I am happy that many pradhans have already started working closely with the surveillance committees immediately after the result without waiting for the formalities of oath-taking," he said.
Contrary to predictions of experts that one lakh coronavirus cases a day will be reported in Uttar Pradesh in May, only 2,402 new infections were recorded in the last 24 hours, the chief minister said.
"Our recovery rate is very good and the positivity rate has come down to less than one per cent. As gram pradhan, all of you are the chairman of the surveillance committees of your villages. These committees have done a very good job so far," he said, adding that they should keep an eye on anyone who comes from outside the village.
"It is heartening that in our survey, 68 per cent of the villages were found to be unaffected by corona infection. In order to maintain it, we should not lower the guard," Adityanath said.
The village heads should ensure that not a single eligible person is deprived of food grains being distributed free of cost, he said.
He said that as the rainy season is approaching, efforts should be made to protect villagess from water-borne or viral diseases such as encephalitis, chikungunya, dengue and malaria.
"For this, the most important factor is cleanliness during the day, sanitisation in the afternoon and fogging in the evening. There should be no waterlogging," he said.