New Delhi: At this critical time of coronavirus when the country has crossed 3.3 lakh-mark in terms of COVID-19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Tuesday hold a fresh round of consultation through video conferencing with Chief Ministers of different states and Union Territories to discuss the future of lockdown and the current situation of the pandemic. Apart from Tuesday, he will also interact with the CMs on Wednesday as well. Also Read - ‘Bright Actor Gone Too Soon’: PM Modi Recollects Memorable Performances of Sushant Singh Rajput
As per updates, all the states and UTs have been divided into two groups and two days are dedicated so that PM Modi can listen to all the Chief Ministers. Delhi, which has been witnessing a sudden spike in corona numbers, will feature on the second day. Also Read - COVID-19: Concentrate on Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Surat, Pune, Indore, Kolkata; PM Modi Wants Urgent Change in Strategy
So far, there have been at least five such interactions with the fifth one taking place on May 11. The last interaction took place ahead of the expiry of lockdown 3.0 which was to end on May 17. Also Read - PM Modi Meets Senior Ministers to Take Stock of COVID-19 Situation Across Country, Asks Health Ministry to Undertake Emergency Planning
The two-day virtual meet of PM Modi with the CMs comes also against the backdrop of the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country.
Part of ‘Unlock 1’, several relaxations were made for public and businesses to ensure that economic activities hit by the lockdown gather momentum.
According to updates from the PMO, 21 states and union territories, including Punjab and some Northeast states, will hold interaction on June 16.
The rest, including West Bengal, Delhi, Maharashtra and Karnataka, which have reported a surge in coronavirus cases, will interact with PM Modi on June 17. This would be PM Modi’s sixth round of consultation with the chief ministers.
The development comes as the country on Monday crossed 3.3 lakh-mark and the death toll surpassed 9,500 even as the central and state governments stepped up their focus on ramping up testing capabilities and availability of beds for treating those infected with the dreaded virus infection.
Amid the increase in the number of cases, the Tamil Nadu government announced total lockdown for Chennai and its suburbs from June 19-30 when only essential services would be allowed.
At the same time, Delhi and Gujarat governments said they had no plans to re-impose the lockdown again amid persistent rumours about re-imposition of the curbs, particularly in the national capital where the cases have seen a rapid increase in the recent past.
The Delhi government has asked all laboratories and hospitals to work on their full potential, ramp up their COVID-19 testing capacity to meet the increased demand for processing samples and process the samples within 48 hours.
The Union Health Ministry said the number of confirmed cases across the country has risen to 3,32,424 after 11,502 new cases were recorded in 24 hours since Sunday 8 AM, while the death toll rose by 325 in this period to 9,520.
On the other hand, the Maharashtra government announced that classes for 9-12 standards would begin from July 1, except for in the red zone areas, while classes for 6-8 standards would begin in August.
India is the world’s fourth worst-hit nation by the novel coronavirus infection in terms of total number of confirmed cases after the US, Brazil and Russia, as per the online COVID-19 tracker of Johns Hopkins University. In terms of the number of deaths, India is ranked ninth after the US, Brazil, UK, Italy, France, Spain, Mexico and Belgium.