The Centre seems set to broaden its engagement with the states as the discussion on Saturday saw senior ministers and officials concluding that if coordination between the Centre and states could bring about a significant improvement in the situation in Delhi, it can work elsewhere. Feedback received by the Centre also showed that various authorities were often working in silos and this needs to change in order to quicken the response of the Centre and state agencies in identifying hotspots.
Modi hailed measures taken by the Centre, state government and the local authorities in containing the Covid-19 in Delhi and tweeted that “priority is close monitoring and guiding the containment works in regions where the infection rate is high”. It is understood that the emphasis will remain on testing, which is approaching the 3 lakh a day mark, and reducing incidence and fatalities. The Centre feels a target of bringing fatalities under 1% should be set and all states work towards this objective.
Had an extensive meeting to review the COVID-19 situation across the nation. Took stock of the ongoing efforts to c… https://t.co/OFy7w96dgP
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 1594468355000
The effort to increase engagement with the states will be coordinated by the cabinet secretariat and the home ministry. The meeting was attended by home minister Amit Shah, health minister Harsh Vardhan, members of NITI Aayog and other senior officials. An official statement said the PM has asked for real-time national-level monitoring and guidance to be provided to all affected states and places with high test positivity rates.
The community outreach model in Ahmedabad, called Dhanvantri Rath, was seen to have been effective. It involves seeking out persons with symptoms, supplying medicines and immunity boosters and follow-ups to see if there has been any deterioration. “The PM appreciated the concerted efforts of the Centre, state and local authorities in containing the pandemic situation in Delhi,” the statement said.
“He further directed that a similar approach should be adopted with other state governments in containing the Covid-19 pandemic in the entire NCR area,” it said.
The PM reiterated the need to observe personal hygiene and social discipline in public places. Modi said awareness about the pandemic should be disseminated widely and a continuous emphasis on preventing the spread of the infection should be laid. He said there is no room for any complacency in this regard.
In the context of Delhi, Shah had stepped in last month to work with Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to handle the coronavirus situation in the national capital amid steeply rising cases and criticism of lack of information on treatment, beds and facilities. Shah had discussed ways to check the spread of the virus in the NCR with the chief ministers of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
Having attributed the measures against the pandemic to the collective efforts of state, centre and local authorities is also seen as a message that the PM is looking to de-emphasise political point-scoring to the extent possible.