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‘People with Covid-19 shouldn’t be seen as criminals’: PM Modi tells chief ministers

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday asked chief ministers to ensure there is no stigma attached to the coronavirus disease Covid-19 in their respective states.

Interacting with the chief ministers through video conferencing, PM Modi said that they are in a better position to assess the Covid-19 situation since they are “acquainted with the ground realities”. He also said that state authorities can help in identifying how the disease is spreading to new areas, the reason behind it and the mental stress that people are facing, people aware of what transpired in the meeting said.

 

Those who have contracted the disease should not feel that it is their fault, they should not be perceived as criminals, the PM further said. He assured that if a spurt in cases is reported from particular area, that state won’t be seen as guilty, according to people mentioned above.

At the same time, he also asked the state governments to not be too soft.

This was PM Modi’s fourth such interaction with chief ministers since March 22 when he first spoke to them on the coronavirus situation and steps taken – both by the Centre and the states – to contain the pandemic. Two days later, on March 24, the Prime Minister announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown. He extended the lockdown till May 3 on April 14, the last day of the initial three-week shutdown.

Apaert from the chief ministers, among those who attended the virtual meet included Home Minister Amit Shah, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and top officials from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Union Health Ministry.

The prime minister was wearing a white ‘gamcha’ (scarf) with green border. He has been using the ‘gamcha’ to cover his face during such meets.

In his monthly ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio address on Sunday, the prime minister said the country is in the middle of a ‘yudh’ (war) and asserted that people have to continue being careful and take precautions.

His note of caution came amidst gradual exemptions being granted by the Centre and states to revive economic activities.