‘Stay in Touch With People’: PM Modi to Council of Ministers
The Council of ministers noted that the COVID pandemic is a crisis that comes ‘once-in-a-century’.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a virtual meeting on Friday, 30 April, with the council of ministers, including Principal Secretary to PM, to assess the COVID situation in the country. He stressed on the “need to ensure that issues at the local level are promptly identified and addressed”.
Modi asserted, “All arms of the government are working unitedly and rapidly to deal with the situation,” and urged the council of ministers to, “stay in touch with the people of their respective regions, help them, and keep getting their feedback”.
The council of ministers noted that the pandemic is a crisis that comes ‘once-in-a-century’ and has thrown a big challenge to world.
Efforts made by the government of ramping up hospital beds, PSA oxygen facilities, resolving issues in production, storage and transport of oxygen, availability of essential medicines were also briefed. A presentation on COVID-19 management was given by NITI Aayog member VK Paul.
In the aftermath of the second wave, this was the first meeting of the council of ministers.
Highlighting the importance of COVID appropriate behaviour, the Council emphasised that the participation of society is a key aspect to accomplish the gigantic task ahead.
The ministers expressed confidence that the country will rise to the occasion and defeat the virus.
Empowered Groups Brief PM Modi
PM Modi chaired another virtual meeting to review the functioning of different empowered groups (EG).
The EG on Economic and Welfare measures highlighted the extension of PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana and informed Modi that the insurance scheme for frontline health workers has been extended for another six months.
Modi said that through the coordination of the Central government and states, it should be ensured that the poor get free food grain without any issues.
The PM also said that the settlement of pending insurance claims should be expedited so that the dependents of the deceased are able to avail benefits in time. Officials were instructed to ensure seamless movement of goods so that supply chain disruptions are avoided.
The EG said that they were working in active partnership with private sector, NGOs, and international organisations.
As per an official statement, PM urged the officials, “to explore how volunteers from civil society can be utilised to lessen the pressure on healthcare sector by invoking them in non-specialised tasks”.
It was suggested that “NGOs could help to establish and maintain lines of communication between the patients, their dependents, and health care personnel,” and that, “Ex servicemen could be encouraged to handle call centres to communicate with people under home quarantine”.
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