Coronavirus: PM Narendra Modi met Amit Shah, other ministers to discuss COVID-19 crisis
Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with ministers and officials today to review the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government said in a statement. They discussed the situation in the states and Union Territories, including Delhi, where coronavirus cases have been rising.
Home Minister Amit Shah, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and the principal secretary to PM Modi, among others, attended the meeting.
India has recorded the highest single-day jump of 11,458 fresh coronavirus cases, taking the total to 3,08,993, the latest data from the Health Ministry shows. India has the fourth-highest number of coronavirus cases among 10 nations worst-hit by coronavirus.
A senior member of the government think-tank NITI Aayog gave a presentation on where the pandemic is likely heading in the medium term, the government said in the statement.
Vinod Paul, NITI Aayog member and convenor of the Empowered Group of Medical Emergency Management Plan, in his presentation said out of the total cases, two-thirds are in five states with an overwhelming proportion of cases in big cities.
PM Modi took note of the recommendations of the empowered group on city- and district-wise requirements of hospital and isolation beds, and asked Health Ministry officials to make emergency plans in consultation with the states and Union Territories.
He asked the Health Ministry to ensure proper preparation as monsoon is approaching.
The COVID-19 situation in Delhi was discussed and projections for two months were analysed. PM Modi suggested that Mr Shah and Harsh Vardhan should call an emergency meeting with the Delhi Lieutenant Governor, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, senior bureaucrats and municipal corporation leaders to make a comprehensive plan to fight COVID-19 in the national capital, where cases have been rising.
In Delhi, the situation is particularly dire with the Aam Aadmi Party government this week predicting the caseload will balloon 20-fold to more than half a million by the end of July, which the healthcare system appears woefully ill-prepared for.
The Delhi government has said it will not extend the lockdown. The government is turning cricket stadiums into field hospitals and crematoriums are struggling to cope.