New Delhi: Hours after the state reported its first death due to the coronavirus, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Thursday said that lifting the lockdown at this critical time is a big challenge and it must be given a considered thought. Also Read - Jharkhand Registers First Covid-19 Death As 72-Year-Man Succumbs to the Virus in Bokaro
“Lifting the lockdown is a big challenge and must be given a considered thought. Though the spread of the coronavirus has been kept in check in Jharkhand, things could change if a large number of people return to the state from various parts of the country,” Soren said to news agency PTI. Also Read - Jharkhand Flags Off 'Meals on the Wheels' Initiative To Feed the Poor Amid Lockdown
The statement from the chief minister comes as four new COVID-19 cases were reported in the state on Thursday, taking the total tally of coronavirus cases to 13 in Jharkhand. Also Read - Jharkhand Reports First COVID-19 Case After Malaysian Woman Tests Positive For Virus
He also alleged that the Centre should have talked to all states before imposing the lockdown in the country and now seeking everyone’s suggestion about its withdrawal.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not ask the states while imposing the lockdown and now he is asking states for suggestions to open the lockdown,” Soren alleged.
The development comes as the nationwide lockdown was imposed from March 25 by the Centre to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that has claimed 166 lives and infected 5,734 people across the country as of now.
Talking about the preventive measures, Soren said that his government started work very early and that helped in keeping COVID-19 cases in check in the state.
“About two lakh people came into our state after the lockdown somehow, but we had put mechanisms in place to deal with the situation. Now details of 1.75 lakh out of those people are with us. Some people belong to Jharkhand, while others are from West Bengal and other states,” he added further.
He also said that the information about such people can be found with a committee which has been formed by the state government at the district, block, village and panchayat levels.
“We have also set up information centres. There is one for people within the state and the other is for people from our state stuck in other states,” he said.
Demanding special package from the Centre, Soren said that the state is largely dependent on the Centre for resources and would need a dedicated financial package to deal with the crisis.
“Due to the imposition of the GST, the central government has already broken the back of states. We would need a dedicated package from the Centre. We would also need more health equipment,” he said.
The chief minister said the package his state had received from the Centre was not enough. “The Centre had given about Rs 250 crore to Jharkhand from the package announced by it nationally and it also received some pending dues, but that is not enough,” he said.