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Visual from the GoM meeting at Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's residence
Visual from the GoM meeting at Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's residence

GoM meeting chaired by Rajnath Singh reviews lockdown extension, resumption of economic activities

ANI | Updated: Apr 18, 2020 14:22 IST

By Pragya Kaushika
New Delhi [India], April 18 (ANI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday chaired a meeting of a Group of Ministers (GoM) to assess the impact of lockdown extension and allowing partial economic activity in non-hotspot zones amid COVID-19 outbreak.
"We discussed ways to mitigate the hardships faced by the people and the role ministries can play in providing relief to people," Singh tweeted after the meeting.
"The guidelines to allow limited activities and the measures announced by RBI were also appreciated," he said.
The meet held at Singh's residence had in attendance Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers D V Sadananda Gowda, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Zubin Irani, Railways and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, Environment and I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi.
Also present were Minister for Animal Husbandry Giriraj Singh, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Minister of State of Housing and Urban Affairs (Independent Charge), Hardeep Puri, HRD minister Ramesh Pokhariyal, MoS for Home Affairs G Kishen Reddy and Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar. (ANI)
Sources informed that among suggestions like keeping a close watch over COVID-19 spread in areas that will be open for economic activities, the GoM also delved on the suggestion to enlist services of retired doctors, health professionals and medical students in the final year of graduation.

"This suggestion evoked a positive response as we need as many hands as possible to take care of the affected people. With experience on their side, even the retired doctors can provide help in the present situation," stated the source.
This is the fifth meeting of the GoM on COVID-19 since March 25.
While taking stock of various ministries preparedness with regard to the resumption of economic activities on April 20, the GoM appreciated the decision to begin economic activities in zones that are not coronavirus affected.
"The GoM obtained feedback from various ministers. The decision to open up the economic activity in areas which have not reported any Corona cases in line with the MHA guidelines issued on April 15 gradually was well appreciated," the source stated.
Resumption of economic activity will continue keeping in view the local conditions and measures taken to prevent the spread of the virus.
The ministers part of GoM agreed that the appeal to observe social distance norms and refrain from participating in mass prayers or religious congregations should be made repeatedly.
The GoM also agreed that appeal should be made to people to follow PM Narendra Modi's suggestion to feed the needy, making face masks at home and maintaining social distance, sources informed. (ANI)