By putting a united front against the novel coronavirus and working in tandem, the Centre and states have shown the finest example of 'cooperative federalism', Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while kick-starting his two-day interaction with Chief Ministers, Lt Governors, and top bureaucrats of states and union territories.
Based on the feedback of the CMs, Modi is expected to announce a policy beyond June 30 when 'Unlock 1' comes to an end. The meeting comes amid a 'violent face-off" between India and China in Ladakh that took place overnight in Laddakh's Galwan Valley.
"Sometime in future, when India's battle against the novel coronavirus is analysed, the present time will be remembered as an example of how we worked together, in what is surely the finest example of cooperative federalism," Modi said.
A total of 3,43,091 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed so far across the country. In the last 24 hours, 10,667 new patients have tested positive. The number of fatalities, which currently stands at 9,900, with 380 deaths reported over the last 24 hours, is going up towards the 10,000-mark.
"Noted experts around the world are discussing at great lengths the way India implemented the lockdown and the discipline Indians showed during this time. In India, the recovery rate has gone over 50%. India is among those nations where coronavirus-infected people are being successfully treated. The experience from many states have instilled self-pride with the way damage due to coronavirus has been contained and how we are looking to move forward," Modi said.
Chief Ministers of 20 states are expected to join the Prime Minister in discussing the road ahead. The list of states includes Punjab, Assam and all other northeastern states.
On June 17, Modi will meet Chief Ministers of the 15 worst-affected states, including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Gujarat, marking the seventh meeting with the top functionaries of various states during the Covid-19 crisis.
The country has opened up over the past few days and economic indicators show all signs of India moving towards normalcy, Modi said.
"Our economy has started to show green shoots. Power consumption has started to go up, fertiliser purchase has increased dramatically, exports are returning to pre-Covid-19 levels... We now need to work on value chains and specific economic points," Modi said, adding that small factories need guidance and hand-holding.
"I know work is being done in that direction. For trade and industry to work at its old speed, we all need to work together,” he said.
At such a crucial time, when India is looking to return on track, the PM cautioned Indians against being lax in maintaining laid-out guidelines and precautions. "Don't even think of going out of the home without wearing a face cover or a face mask," Modi said.