In the wake of rapidly spreading coronavirus disease, for over two days – Tuesday and Wednesday – Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be meeting the chief ministers to discuss the Covid-19 situation in the country. 

A video-conference with chief ministers, Lieutenant Governors and administrators of 21 states and union territories will be held by PM Modi on Tuesday afternoon. 

This will be the PM Modi’s sixth round of consultation with the chief ministers, the last being on May 11. On Tuesday, the states of  Punjab, Kerala, Goa, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and the North-Eastern will be in the meeting, whilst on Wednesday, a separate meeting will take place to discuss the situation in Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Karnataka, Gujarat, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

On Monday, India’s Covid-19 tally crossed 3.3 lakh and the death toll surpassed 9,500. As close to 1.7 lakh have already recovered, the rate of recovery stands at 51 per cent, but 1.53 lakh cases are still active, said the health ministry.

According to officials, the main objective of the meeting is to  keep the death rate, or the case fatality rate low. For this purpose, a detailed action plan has already been chalked out and the issue may even be raised by PM Modi in his meeting with chief ministers.

The officials concern is that, just five states: Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh account for over 80% of the total deaths in the country. India’s average death rate has remained low at 2.9 – the global average is 5.4%.

“We have also noted with concern that 65 districts of India have more than 5% fatality rate. And the largest chunk, 19, of those districts are in Madhya Pradesh, followed by 11 in Gujarat and 10 each in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh,” said one of the officials who asked not to be identified.

Among the districts, in Madhya Pradesh are Mandla, Sehore, Umaria and Chhindwara; Lalitpur, Jhansi, Meerut and Agra in Uttar Pradesh; and Nandurbar, Jalgaon, Dhule, and Aurangabad in Maharashtra.

In the last two days, in a series of meetings held by Union home minister Amit Shah, the situation in Delhi was already discussed in detail. To discuss the Covid-19 situation in the national capital, he not only met Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, he also met the mayors and other officials from Delhi. 

Apart from this, an all-party meeting where leaders from different political parties offered solutions to tackle the crisis was also held by Shah earlier.