New Delhi: As the nationwide lockdown 3.0 is coming to an end on May 17, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Monday hold a video conference with chief ministers of all states and UTs with the focus on reviving the economy and scaling up efforts to bring more ‘red’ zones with high COVID-19 caseload into ‘orange’ or ‘green’ zones. Also Read - Lockdown 4.0 or Exit Plan? All Eyes on PM Modi’s Video Conference With CMs Tomorrow
During the meeting, the chief ministers of the states and union territories are expected to push for stepping up economic activities in a calibrated manner as the Centre has weighed the pros and cons of further relaxing the restrictions for a graded exit from the twice extended 54-day coronavirus lockdown due to end on May 17. However, the restrictions which are still in place are unlikely to be withdrawn in one go. Also Read - 'Like Lord Buddha's Teachings, India Must Stay Resolved in COVID-19 Battle,' Says PM Modi in Address to Nation
As per updates from the PMO, the video conference will begin at 3 PM on Monday and it will be PM Modi’s fifth interaction with the chief ministers since the coronavirus outbreak in the country. Also Read - Buddha Purnima: PM Modi to Deliver Address in Honour of COVID-19 Victims And Frontline Warriors Today
Days after the meeting the chief ministers, the Central government had extended the lockdown by two more weeks till May 17 to arrest the spread of the virus.
In the meantime, several states have relaxed labour laws to pump up industrial activities with staggered shifts or limited staff as a fresh spike in coronavirus cases could undo the gains so far.
Ahead of PM Modi’s meeting with the chief ministers, state chief secretaries on Sunday told Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba that while protection is required from COVID-19, economic activities also need to be stepped up in a calibrated manner.
With thousands of migrant workers taking special trains to go back to their home states due to lockdown, the restarting of industrial activities will prove to be a challenge for states.
Earlier in the day, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said that no COVID-19 case has been reported in 10 states and union territories in the last 24 hours and the recovery rate has increased to over 30 per cent. He also asserted that the country was moving fast on the path of success in the fight against the pandemic.
As per the health ministry updates, 1,511 COVID-19 patients have recovered in the last 24 hours — the highest number of recoveries recorded in one day.
In the meeting with the chief ministers, the focus of the Central government will be on boosting economic activities and pushing efforts to convert ‘red’ zones with high COVID-19 caseload into ‘orange’ or ‘green’ zones.
The central government had on May 1 classified 733 districts as 130 in the red zone, 284 in the orange zone and 319 in the green zone, taking into consideration incidence of cases, doubling rate, the extent of testing and surveillance feedback.
Giving a piece of good news, Health Minister Dr Hardh Vardhan said that the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune has successfully developed the first indigenous test kit that will play a critical role in surveillance of proportion of the population exposed to coronavirus infection.
“National Institute of Virology, Pune has successfully developed the 1st indigenous anti-SARS-CoV-2 human IgG ELISA test kit for antibody detection of COVID-19,” he said in a series of tweets.
The health ministry further stated that the coronavirus death toll in the country rose to 2,109 on Sunday and the number of cases climbed to 62,939, registering an increase of 128 deaths and 3,277 cases in the last 24 hours.