Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the country does not need a lockdown to tackle the COVID-19 menace anymore as it has the infrastructure required to deal with the pandemic. Addressing a meeting of the chief ministers on the current situation of the coronavirus, he said, “Earlier we did not have the infrastructure to deal with the pandemic and we had to use lockdown as a tool…but today we do not need a lockdown.”
However, the prime minister made it clear that the situation is grim, especially in certain states including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, and warned the people against laxity in following the COVID-19 norms.
“This is a matter of concern, especially the fact that people are taking this lightly…even the administration in certain states have been lacking in their commitment,” he said.
Highlighting the issues of concern that need special attention, Modi said, “First, the country has crossed the peak of the first wave, and this time the growth rate is faster than before.”
“Second, many states including Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat have also crossed the first wave peak. Some other states are also moving towards this. This is a matter of concern for all of us,” he said.
He also pointed out people’s disregard for the restrictions and said, “This time people have become more casual than before. Administration is also visible in most states. In such a situation, this sudden increase of corona cases has created problems.”
However, the prime minister projected a positive outlook and said that the country can bring down the active number of coronavirus cases as it has done before.
Modi asked the chief ministers to increase testing and track asymptomatic patients. “We have to make an effort to bring down the positivity rate to below 5 per cent. Our aim is it have over 70% RTPCR tests. We have to focus on 'Test, Track, Treat', Covid appropriate behaviour and Covid management,” the prime minister went on to say.