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Talking to States Before Lockdown Would’ve Avoided Panic: Baghel

The Quint spoke to Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel to understand how the situation is being handled in the state

Chhattisgarh has reported only a few cases of coronavirus. The Quint spoke with Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Bhupesh Baghel to understand how they are handling the situation and what measures they’re taking. We discussed the facilities being provided to health centres and workers, preparedness for the disease’s spread and measures for the rural population.

Baghel, when asked about Chhattisgarh’s huge rural population and if the state is ready to deal with the pandemic, iterated the measures already put in place.

“We are giving two months of ration free directly to the families of 56 lakh poor labourers. There is also salt and sugar in the ration. Those who do not have a Ration Card are also being given rice at a low cost. Apart from this, people are also being helped in urban areas. When people contact us through the helpline, cooked food is sent to their home.”

Bhupesh Baghel, Chhattisgarh CM

About the low rate of testing, he admitted that due to a shortage of testing kits, only those displaying symptoms are being tested.

He added that the low number of cases in the state is because of social consciousness.

“It was from February that people started appealing for caution. We told people not to celebrate Holi. Schools, colleges, anganwadi, cinema halls and malls were instructed to close down. The first suspected case of corona came on 15 March. Test results came positive came on 18 March. Immediately after this, Section 144 was implemented in the entire state. The state has been under lockdown since 21 March. It was strictly followed in every village.”

Bhupesh Baghel, Chhattisgarh CM

Originally published in The Quint.

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