New Delhi: Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is continuing his interactions with various stakeholders in India’s fight against COVID-19.
Prime Minister interacts with over 200 people on a daily basis which includes phone calls to various State Governors, Chief Ministers, and Health Ministers to get a first-hand feedback on India’s fight against the COVID-19 menace.
Prime Minister also telephonically reaches out to various doctors, nurses, health workers, and sanitation staff from various corners of the country in order to encourage them and to pay gratitude to their yeomen service to the nation and society.
Shri Modi also interacts with people from various walks of life through video conferencing in an effort to control the spread of the Corona virus
Shri Modi has held discussions through video conferencing with the heads of various Electronic Media groups. He interacted with the heads of various Print Media Groups on the 24th March.
Prime Minister in both the cases appealed that media should counter pessimism and panic through positive communication.
On the 27th of March Prime Minister held a video conference with various Radio Jockeys and Announcers of All India Radio.
“Need to constantly celebrate the contribution of the local heroes at national level and boost their morale” he said.
Prime Minister also telephonically reaches to some of those who are affected with Corona Virus and to some of those who have recovered from its affects in order to keep an update on their progress.
Shri Narendra Modi in a special video interaction on 25th March 2020 with his constituents in Varanasi has appealed for Resolve, Restraint and Sensitivity and exhorted the people to adapt to the best practices in fighting the virus.
Regular Interactions & Meetings
Since January Prime Minister Shri Modi held several rounds of meetings and discussions with people from various walks of life and officials in order to find ways and means to fight COVID-19.
Prime Minister had been holding meetings on a daily basis wherein he is updated regularly by the Cabinet Secretary and the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office.
Prime Minister is also being updated by the Group of Ministers (GoM) set up under the chairmanship of the Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan on the steps being taken by the Government.
Leading by example
The Prime Minister announced that he would not be participating in the Holi festivities in an effort to make people maintain social distancing.
Address to the Nation – Janta Curfew & 3 Week Lockdown
In order to prepare the country to deal with the COVID-19, the Prime Minister in his address to the Nation on the 19th of March 2020, urged the people to voluntarily participate in the Janta Curfew for 14 Hours from 7 AM to 9 PM on the 22nd of March 2020.
While preparing the nation successfully in an effort to maintain Social Distance, the Prime Minister in his address to the nation on the 24th March 2020, has appealed for a 3 week lockdown as it is the only known effective measure in controlling the spread of the virus.
Shri Narendra Modi, gave to the nation his two pronged mantra of “Resolve and Restraint” in order to fight the Corona Virus.
In his address the Prime Minister requested the people against panic buying and assured them of the constant supply of essential goods.
COVID -19 Economic Response Task Force
To deal with the economic challenges caused by the pandemic, Prime Minister announced the creation of ‘COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force’ under the Union Finance Minister. The Task Force will consult stakeholders, take feedback, on the basis of which decisions will be taken to meet the challenges. The Task Force will also ensure implementation of the decisions taken to meet these challenges.
Prime Minister also urged the business community and higher income groups to look after the economic needs of those from lower income groups, from whom they take various services, urging them not to cut their salary on the days they are unable to render the services due to inability to come to the workplace. He stressed on the importance of humanity during such times.
PM CARES Fund
Keeping in mind the need for having a dedicated national fund with the primary objective of dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation, like posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide relief to the affected, a public charitable trust under the name of ‘Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund’ (PM CARES Fund)’ has been set up. Prime Minister is the Chairman of this trust and its Members include Defence Minister, Home Minister and Finance Minister.
PM Narendra Modi has always believed and shown in actions that public participation is the most effective way to mitigate any issue and this is yet another example. This fund will enable micro-donations as a result of which a large number of people will be able to contribute with smallest of denominations.
Announces Rs 1.7 Lakh Crore Financial Package
The Narendra Modi Government on the 26th of March announced a Financial Package of Rs 1.7 Lakh Crore which focuses on emergency cash transfers of the poor. The Package also includes a 3 month free supply of foodgrains, pulses and gas under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana in order to support them from the economic vagaries arising out of the impact of the Corona Virus.
Meeting with Doctors, Nurses and Health Workers
On 24th March Prime Minister interacted with with medical fraternity – doctors, nurses and lab technicians. He thanked the medical fraternity for its selfless service to the nation in tackling COVID-19. In his interaction the Prime Minister said, “Your optimism has instilled greater confidence in me that the nation will emerge triumphant”. He said Government is examining the proposal for greater teleconsultation in medicine. Prime Minister also assured the medical fraternity that their security is of utmost importance and that the Government would take every step to protect them.
Meeting with Pharma Sector
In an effort to maintain the regular supply of medicines and medical equipment, the Prime Minister also held a video conference with the Pharma Sector Representatives on the 21st of March 2020. In his interaction the Prime Minister asked the Pharma industry to work on manufacture of RNA Testing Kits for COVID-19 on war footing. He assured them that the Government is committed to maintaining supply of APIs and manufacture within the country.
He directed them that it is important to maintain supply of essential medicines and prevent black marketing and hoarding.
Meeting with AYUSH Practitioners
In an effort to keep the nation healthy, the Prime Minister also interacted with various AYUSH Practitioners on 28th of March 2020. He said AYUSH sector importance has increased manifold in the ongoing efforts to tackle COVID-19.
Prime Minister requested them to utilise the sector’s network, while working according to WHO guidelines, to spread the message of good practises which need to be adopted to control the spread of the virus.
He also praised AYUSH Ministry for promoting #YogaAtHome to de-stress the mind and strengthen the body during this difficult phase.
Working together with the States
On the 20th of March the Prime Minister interacted with all the Chief Ministers of the country through a video conference where in had called for tackling the challenge together. Prime Minister called for a constant vigilance and monitoring of spread of the virus and that Centre and States must work together to combat the pandemic.
Prime Minister reminded the State leadership that the country is in a critical phase of tackling spread of the virus but assured them that there is no need to panic.
The Chief Ministers were briefed on the steps taken by the Central Government so far and how the Prime Minister is personally monitoring the overall situation in the country.
During their presentation, when the Chief Ministers requested for augmenting of testing facilities and greater support to vulnerable sections of the society, the Prime Minister assured his support to the states and talked about the urgent need for capacity building of healthcare workers and augmentation of healthcare infrastructure. He suggested that the Chief Ministers should do video conference with trade bodies in their states to prevent black marketing and undue price rise. He urged them to use soft power of persuasion as well as legal provisions, wherever necessary.
SAARC Region comes together
Prime Minister is the first leader to have suggested for a regional consultation and discussion when he called for a video conference with the leaders of the SAARC Nations, home to significant portion of the World’s population. A meeting of the SAARC leaders under India’s leadership was held on the 15th of March 2020.
Shri Modi led the way, in the spirit of collaboration and proposed creation of a COVID-19 Emergency Fund based on voluntary contributions from all the countries, with India making an initial offer of US $10 million for the fund. The fund can be used by any of the partner countries to meet the cost of immediate actions.
Other SAARC Nations viz Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives have also contributed to the Emergency Fund.
Extraordinary Virtual G-20 Summit
An Extraordinary Virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit was convened on 26 March 2020 to discuss the challenges posed by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and to forge a global coordinated response. Earlier, PM had a telephonic conversation with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia on this subject.
PM underscored the need to put human beings at the centre of our vision of global prosperity and cooperation, freely and openly share the benefits of medical research and development, develop adaptive, responsive and humane health care systems amongst others.
PM called on the Leaders to help usher in a new globalization, for the collective well-being of humankind and have multilateral fora focus on promoting the shared interests of humanity.
Prime Minister also held telephonic discussions with the Prime Minister of the UK, H.E Boris Johnson, with Prime Minister of Israel H.E Benjamin Netanyahu on the 12th of March 2020 and Crown Prince of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman on the 17th of March 2020.
On 25th of March Prime Minister held discussions with President of the Russian Fedration H.E Vladimir Putin. On the 26th of March Shri Modi held separate telephonic discussions with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al Thani, the Amir of the State of Qatar.
Prime Minister also had a telephonic conversation with H.E. Ursula Von Der Leyen, President of the European Commission on the 24th of March 2020.
Standing by Stranded Citizens
India under the leadership of the Prime Minister evacuated over 2000 citizens struck in the hot beds of the Corona Virus like China, Italy, Iran and other parts of the World.