Prez likely to address Governors, LGs on coronavirus

New Delhi, Mar 26 (PTI) President Ram Nath Kovind is likely to address all governors and lieutenant governors soon through video conference to discuss the coronavirus outbreak and ask them to help the state administrations combat the endemic, an official said on Thursday.

The move came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a series of meetings with various stakeholders, including chief ministers, industrialists, doctors and healthcare workers, representatives of the pharmaceutical industry and senior editors.

The president is expected to address the governors and lieutenant governors soon to encourage them to be involved in the fight against coronavirus, the senior government official said.

The involvement of the constitutional heads is seen as an all-out effort of the central government to deal with the emerging medical crisis engulfing the world.

Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister P K Mishra, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla also held several meetings with chief secretaries of all states and asked them to ensure full compliance of the 21- day lockdown and at the same to ensure the availability of essential commodities.

COVID-19 has so far claimed 13 lives in India and there are 649 postive cases.

On Thursday, the Union Finance Ministry unveiled a Rs 1.70 lakh crore economic package, involving free foodgrain and cooking gas, to the poor for the next three months, one-time doles to women and poor senior citizens among other benefits. PTI ACB AAR