Modi urges states to ramp up testing to beat corona

12 August, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Modi urges states to ramp up testing to beat corona

NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday pointed out the significance of each and every state in controlling the spread of the coronavirus disease in the country as he urged at least six of them to increase the number of tests to diagnose Covid-19, reports Hindustan Times.

Modi held a video conference with the chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, which have added the bulk of cases to the country’s Covid-19 tally. The number of coronavirus infection crossed the 2.26-million mark, which includes more than 45,000 deaths, on Tuesday.

Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit state in the country with Covid-19 cases, followed by Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Apart from these three states, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh have reported the highest number of coronavirus disease cases and deaths in the last 24 hours.

“Today 80% of the country’s active cases are from these 10 states that is why their role is very important in the fight against Corona. The number of active cases has exceeded 6 lakh and most of them are from these 10 states,” Modi said during the review meeting of the coronavirus situation in the regions.

“There is a need to increase testing in states where the testing rate is low and where the positivity rate is high. A special emphasis has been given on increasing testing particularly in Bihar, Gujarat, UP, West Bengal and Telangana during reviews,” he said in the virtual meeting which started at 11am.

Modi said that a view has emerged that the 10 states defeat the coronavirus pandemic, the country will also win. “The path to success has been achieved by the results after continuously monitoring the ground reality in your states. I am confident that with the strength of your experience, the country will win this battle and there will be a new beginning,” he said.

The Prime Minister also pointed out that containment, contact tracing and surveillance are the most effective weapon against the viral disease. He also stressed on the importance of timely diagnosis of Covid-19, citing experts that if a person is diagnosed within 72 hours then the spread can be controlled to a great extent. Aarogya Setu, the contact tracing mobile application, is another effective way to tackle the disease.

“The percentage of active cases has decreased and the recovery rate has increased and so this means that our efforts are proving effective. The most important thing is that it has also increased people’s trust and confidence and their fears have come down,” he added.

The chief ministers on their part have asked Modi for a liberal financial package and to remove the cap on spending funds from the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) to bridge the collection gap caused by the pandemic.

“The information about the ground realities get strengthened after talking to you and we get to know that we are moving in the right direction. Therefore it was imperative that the 10 states needed to sit together and review and discuss. And today we have also got to learn a lot from each other’s experiences through this discussion,” PM Modi said during the meeting with the chief ministers.

PM has held several such virtual meetings with the chief ministers to review the pandemic situation and the last one was held in June.