Modi to speak with chief ministers on Tuesday, Wednesday

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Amid an unabated rise in coronavirus cases in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a fresh round of consultations with chief ministers on Tuesday and Wednesday on ways to check the spread of the virus as India exits the lockdown.

On Tuesday afternoon, Modi will hold a video-conference with chief ministers, Lt governors and administrators of 21 states and Union territories.

These include Punjab, Kerala, Goa, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, the northeastern states and some UTs.

The prime minister will interact with chief ministers of 15 states and the LG of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday.

These include high case load states like Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi, Karnataka, Gujarat, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

The two-day virtual meet comes against the backdrop of rising number of coronavirus cases in the country.

India saw a jump of over 11,000 novel coronavirus cases for the third consecutive day on Monday, taking the total number of infections to over 3.32 lakh, while the toll rose to 9,520 with 325 more deaths.

Under “Unlock 1”, several relaxations have been made for public and businesses to ensure that economic activities hit by the lockdown gather momentum.

Ahead of his meeting with chief ministers, the prime minister had on Saturday reviewed the steps being taken to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in areas with the high caseload and the road map for effective management of the situation.

Modi had suggested that the home minister and the health minister convene an emergency meeting with the Delhi Lt governor and chief minister and other officials to plan a “coordinated and comprehensive response” to handle the challenge posed by rising cases of COVID-19 in Delhi.

The meets suggested by the prime minister took place on Sunday.

This would be the prime minister’s sixth round of consultation with the chief ministers, the last being on May 11.

Home Minister Amit Shah spoke with all the chief ministers over the telephone in the last week of May, just before lockdown-4 was to end.

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