On Thursday, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope stated that the main outcome of the video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the permission granted for rapid testing. According to him, it would be possible to quickly ascertain whether a person has contracted COVID-19, paving way for a decision on quarantine and isolation. Mentioning that the PM expected the states to work as a team, Tope talked about the state's fight against the novel Coronavirus.
He observed that strict curfew was being maintained at 146 containment zones and work for dedicated COVID-19 hospitals was underway. Moreover, he revealed that CM Uddhav Thackeray had requested more personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers and called for an increase in the production capacity of PPE. He also revealed that out of the 338 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state, 42 had been discharged while two persons were in a critical condition. Additionally, the Maharashtra Health Minister noted that approximately 1300 out of more than 1400 Markaz attendees from the state had been traced and the process of quarantining them was on.
Over 1400 people from Maharashtra attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi. Out of which, around 1300 have been traced till now & are being quarantined in Maharashtra. Their samples will be collected for #COVID19 testing: State Health Minister Rajesh Tope pic.twitter.com/Bj1rRod6Dh— ANI (@ANI) April 2, 2020
PM Modi interacted with the Chief Ministers of all the states to discuss the measures to combat the novel Coronavirus. Praising the states for working as a team, he informed them about the possibility of a second wave of the spread of the virus. Highlighting that the common goal was to ensure minimum loss of life, he noted that testing, tracing, isolation, and quarantine should remain the areas of focus in the next few weeks. The PM also flagged the necessity of maintaining the supply of essential medical equipment and called for dedicated hospital facilities for COVID-19 patients.
Another important message imparted by PM Modi was that Crisis Management Groups needed to be set up at the district level besides the appointment of District Surveillance Officers. While acknowledging that the farming sector had been exempted under the lockdown, he emphasised that social distancing should be practised. The PM also opined that it was crucial to formulate a common exit strategy to ensure staggered re-emergence of the population after the end of the lockdown period. He asked the states to send their suggestions regarding the exit strategy.