PM deploys ministers on COVID-19 frontline to defeat pandemic

By Pragya Kaushika

New Delhi [India], Mar 26 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government at the Centre has asked its ministers to take charge of their States and play the role of leaders in defeating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sources told ANI that a letter from the PMO has been sent to all ministers, asking them to play an active and effective role in stemming the growing disease.

"The elected representatives have been asked to ensure that poor and underprivileged get food, that the PDS shops in their area do not run out of ration, essential commodities are available in local markets and people are not overcharged for the same," informed one of the ministers.

The ministers have also been asked to maintain constant touch with the local administration and keep themselves updated on the status of COVID-19 in their respective constituencies as well.

"Be in contact with the local district magistrate, make sure all those who have returned from abroad follow quarantine rules and maintain a data of coronavirus positive people and those who have died due to the disease," a source said while giving the detail of the letter.

The ministers who have been given charge are Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who will look after Jharkhand, whereas Maharashtra has been given to Nitin Gadkari and Prakash Javadekar.

Similarly, UP will be looked after by Rajnath Singh, Mahendra Nath Pandey, Sanjeev Balyan, Krishna Pal Gurjar.

The responsibility of Bihar has been given to Ravi Shankar Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat will look after Rajasthan and Punjab.

The step assumes significance as Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to ensure that there is no community outbreak of the disease. The senior leadership of other political parties was also taken into confidence.

The elected representatives have also been asked to ensure the community kitchens do not face problems in serving the poor. The ministers have also been asked to create awareness regarding the disease.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a 21-day lockdown to deal with the spread of coronavirus, saying that social distancing was the only remedy to contain the spread of the disease. (ANI)