Economy

PM calls for local containment to maintain economic momentum

Shishir Sinha | Meenakshi Verma Ambwani | Updated on: Jan 14, 2022
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Says no nationwide lockdown; India Inc pitches for strategy at national level

January 13

Indicating no nationwide lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for local containment to keep the momentum of the economy.

Meanwhile, India Inc has made a strong pitch to avoid knee-jerk reactions in terms of mobility restrictions at the state, city and municipal levels as these can threaten the economic recovery. These remarks have been made when the entire nation appears to be in a firm grip of the third wave, and more and more States are pushing for restrictions.

“While making any strategy, it is very important to keep in mind that there should be minimal damage to the livelihood of the common people, economic activities, and momentum of the economy should be maintained. So, it would be better to focus more on local containment,” Modi said while chairing a comprehensive high-level meeting with Chief Ministers and Lt. Governors/ Administrators of States/UTs to review Public Health Preparedness to Covid-19 and National Covid-19 Vaccination Progress.

He mentioned that earlier confusion about Omicron is slowly getting cleared now. The Omicron variant infects the general public many times faster than the earlier variants. “We have to be alert, be careful, but we also have to take care that there is no panic situation,” he said.

Chief Ministers’ speak

The Chief Ministers talked about preparedness to tackle increasing cases through steps like increasing beds, oxygen availability etc.

Karnataka CM spoke about the spread of cases in Bengaluru and measures taken to contain spread in apartments. West Bengal CM talked about the possible increase in cases in the State on account of upcoming festivities and the administration’s preparation to tackle it. Tamil Nadu CM said the state stands together with the Centre to fight against this wave. Jharkhand CM talked about misconceptions in some rural and tribal areas, which have caused some difficulties in the vaccination programme. Uttar Pradesh CM talked about steps being taken to ensure that no one is left out of the vaccination drive.

India Inc’s call

Meanwhile, industry chamber FICCI has written to Minister for Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal stating that knee-jerk reactions in terms of mobility restrictions at the state, city and municipal levels can threaten economic recovery and a coordinated strategy at the national level to balance lives and livelihoods is needed.

In his letter to the Union Minister, Chamber’s President Sanjiv Mehta stated, “Omicron is highly transmissible leading to a sharp increase in cases but emerging evidence suggests it is mild, does not require intervention in most cases, and hospitalisation is significantly lower than the previous wave. Accordingly, imposing mobility restrictions on the basis of positivity rates is unwarranted; instead, highly localised mobility restrictions may be considered based on the occupancy of hospital beds, especially critical care beds.”

PHDCCI backs PM’s strategic advice, to all state heads, on taking all preventive measures like identifying local containment zone with minimal damage to the livelihood of the common man, said Pradeep Multani, President PHDCCI. “It is indeed important to maintain the economic momentum along with placing the Omicron virus at bay and ensuring a healthier environment for our people,” he said.

Published on January 13, 2022

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