Want lockdown to continue beyond May 3: Meghalaya CM

PM says all States can replicate Sangma’s idea of rapid response teams at panchayat level

Updated - June 11, 2020 10:40 am IST

Published - April 27, 2020 02:00 pm IST - Shillong

 Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma

Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has found merit in Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma’s suggestion that the lockdown should continue beyond May 3 with relaxations for green zones or low-risk COVID-19 areas.

The Prime Minister also felt Meghalaya’s idea of a Rapid Response System (RRS) at the micro-level to combat the pandemic could be replicated as a “best practice” for such challenges in the future.

“We sought continuation with the lockdown post May 3 with relation on activities in green zones or non-COVID-19 affected areas of Meghalaya,” Mr. Sangma said after the videoconference of Chief Ministers with Mr Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday.

State capital Shillong and adjoining areas of East Khasi Hills district are the red zones in Meghalaya.

“The Prime Minister said the battle [against the novel coronavirus] would be long-drawn and, therefore, one cannot expect things to come to normal levels very soon. He said it was time to share and learn from the best practices in each state toward getting over the crisis,” the Chief Minister said.

He suggested setting up of RRS at the panchayat level as well as creation of an economic task force for balancing state-to-state dependence and relationship.

“The Prime Minister appreciated our experiment with local-level RRS for activating doctors, local administration, police and other stakeholders within 60 minutes of detection of cases. He said all the States should replicate this model and document cases handed for tacking similar crises in the future,” Mr. Sangma said.

Mr. Modi said the States could involve universities and other institutions for documenting the cases handled by the RRS and analysing their methods and capabilities. He also asked Mr. Sangma to facilitate research on laws governing lockdown-like situations and the possibility of incorporating various aspects of the RRS such as responsibilities and delegation of work.

Elaborating on the suggestion for an economic task force, Mr. Sangma said the model could help the States exchange ideas and possible solutions to initiate economic activities by adhering to necessary precautionary protocols.

“There is economic state-to-state dependence. A task force will help a state and its neighbours to a large extent in devising practical measures to revive the economy,” he added.

The Chief Minister also suggested putting health ahead in any investment in technology for ensuring quality governance and increasing business.

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