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Consult States before resuming inter-State transit after April 14: Baghel

Before taking a decision to start inter-State traffic post April 14, when the 21-day lockdown ends, a comprehensive discussion should be done to take concrete measures so that the spread of COVID-19 can be kept under control, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.

Mr. Baghel requested that all State governments must be consulted before taking such a decision. In an interview to The Hindu earlier, he had asserted that the State governments should have been kept in loop before imposing a lockdown that saw a huge exodus of migrant workers who lost their jobs across the cities.

Chhattisgarh had gone into a lockdown on March 21, four days ahead of nationwide lockdown after the first person tested positive in the State on March 18. The lockdown will continue till April 14 in the State.

Mr. Baghel said that by April 4, 2020, a total of 1,590 samples were taken in the State, of which 1,375 results had been negative, 205 were under investigation. And 10 people were found to be suffering from COVID-19 virus.

Out of these 10, eight persons had recovered and gone to their home and the condition of the two is normal. So far, no COVID-19 related deaths had been reported in the State, Mr Baghel said.

Under control

He further wrote that the situation in Chhattisgarh was still under control with the help of self disciplined people and measures taken by the State government but the number of COVID-19 cases were increasing continuously in other parts of the country.

Expressing concern, the Chief Minister said the number of cases was likely to increase with the raise in the number of tests. He said that if rail, air and inter-State road transport resumed after April 14, it was likely that infected people from other States might come to Chhattisgarh, creating a new problem for the State. Similar situations were likely to occur in other States as well.

“I request that before the decision is taken to start inter-State transit, wide-ranging discussions must be done to arrive at a concrete solution to ensure that the spread of COVID-19 remains under control,” Mr. Baghel wrote in his letter.


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