Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a meeting with the chief ministers for the third time on the prevailing situation of coronavirus outbreak and lockdown in the morning of April 27 through video conferencing. The prime minister is expected to take feedback from the executive heads of the provinces during the conference.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi has decided to take stern action against perpetrators in the attacks on health workers in the recent past. The union cabinet has passed an ordinance at the meeting the prime minister led today.
The central government brought the ordinance to end violence against health workers by amending the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, which will allow imprisonment from six months to seven years for those found guilty.
Underscoring the message, Prime Minister Modi tweeted that the safety of health workers would not be compromised.
The union government’s decision to bring in the ordinance is along the lines of the non-nonsense attitude shown by the Yogi Adityanath government of the Uttar Pradesh. Earlier this month, when quarantined members of the Tablighi Jamaat were constantly misbehaving with the health workers and policemen, the Yogi government decided to continue the medical treatment of the perpetrators not in makeshift schools, municipal buildings and hospitals but in isolation wards of jails.
Talks between prime minister and chief ministers
The union government will formulate a forward strategy based on the feedback received from the states.
It may be recalled that after their meeting on 11 April, the union government had announced the extension of the lockdown till 3 May through a speech by the prime minister.
The first meeting of the prime minister with the chief ministers was held on 2 April via video conferencing. The crisis of the coronavirus disease (COVID), lockdown and the current situation were topics then as they will remain on 27 April.
COVID cases are increasing rapidly in the country, so far afflicting a total of 20,471 patients. The death toll has risen to 652, of which 50 people have died in the last 24 hours.
PM Modi is, meanwhile, in touch with his colleagues in the union council of ministers too — constantly seeking information and issuing instructions to help the people tide over the health crisis that has affected roughly half the geographical area of the country.