Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday directed several of his Cabinet colleagues to take up the responsibility of coordination between the States and the Centre in the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic.
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The move comes on Day Two of the nationwide lockdown even as disruptions in supply chains and anxieties with regard to migrant workers being left destitute across cities in India were widely reported.
Ministers in charge of various States have been told to speak to the District Magistrate (DM) of every district and keep themselves and the Prime Ministers Office (PMO), Union Home and Health Ministries updated.
“Monitoring will be done every day and the PMO will be kept updated daily as well. This would include keeping track of the number of positive cases in a district, number of those quarantined, how many people were under home quarantine, how many people had arrived in the district from outside, whether there are any hiccups in supply of essential commodities, what was the state of testing and whether enough supplies were there for testing,” said a senior source.
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Under the plan, Water Resources Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has been given charge of Rajasthan; Minister of State for Road Transport V.K. Singh of Assam; Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Mahendranath Pandey and Kishan Pal Gujjar of Uttar Pradesh; Highways and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and Information Minister Prakash Javadekar of Maharashtra; Dharmendra Pradhan of Odisha; Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi of Jharkhand; Arjun Munda of Chhattisgarh; and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan t of Bihar.
Minister of State in the PMO Jitender Singh will be in charge of 22 districts in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.