Opposition steeped in negativity: Yogi

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Lucknow, June 3 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Wednesday that he faced a series of challenges in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, but has managed to successfully contain its spread.
He said that among the challenges he faced was to strengthen the medical infrastructure, the influx of Tablighi Jamaat members which led to a surge in Covid-19 cases, reopening of the economy and then the return of migrants.
Speaking exclusively to a select group of journalists, the Chief Minister said that when the first alert was announced for Covid-19 on March 3, Uttar Pradesh did not have a testing lab or a Covid-19 hospital and this was a major challenge.
“We began strengthening our medical infrastructure and today we have 30 testing laboratories. We have 403 level one hospitals with beds and doctors, 75 level two hospitals that are equipped with oxygen cylinders and 25 level three hospitals with ventilators and equipment for dialysis etc. Each of the 75 districts in the state are now equipped to treat Corona patients,” he said.
Adityanath said that till now, the RTPCR system of Corona testing was being used which took about 12 to 14 hours for the results to be known. “We will now be using the TriNnet machines which will give results in one hour,” he said.
The Chief Minister said that the second challenge that his government faced was the influx of Tablighi Jamaat members. “We dealt with the situation tactfully and managed to track them and treat them,” he said.
Adityanath said that after the first phase of lockdown, the challenge was also to gradually reopen the economy and deal with the arrival of migrants.
“We reopened 119 sugar mills and 2,500 cold storages. Construction projects were restarted with 65,000 workers. In the small and medium sector, work began with 25.5 lakh workers while 80,000 micro units restarted with 2.5 lakh workers. Under MGNREGA, we had 40 lakh workers in different projects,” he stated.
The Chief Minister said that in the third phase of lockdown, the government faced the challenge of migrants who started returning to their homes in large numbers.
“We had to ensure their safe return. We brought back nearly 32 lakh workers while about 4 lakh people came on their own. We had to undertake their medical screening, quarantine them, provide food and ensure their skill mapping. We also gave them Rs 1,000 each and ration kits. We did pool testing of those who were suspected Corona patients. The medical screening was done by one lakh teams and 4.85 crore people were screened,” he said.
Replying to a question, Adityanath said that his government has managed to contain the pandemic and the state only has about 3,200 active cases at the moment while 5,000 patients have been treated successfully and discharged from the hospitals.
“Some experts had predicted that UP would have 65,000 to 70,000 cases in May but we brought them down to 8,000 of which 5,000 have been treated. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a very timely decision of lockdown and we managed to check the Corona spread. It is the people’s faith in Modi that has helped us contain the pandemic,” he said.
To another question about ‘Unlock 1.0’, the Chief Minister said that public awareness was needed now more than ever.
“Freedom of movement has been allowed to a great extent, but people will have to follow guidelines and ensure safety protocols. As we proceed further with unlocking, we will follow the guidelines issued from time to time by the Centre,” he said.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that the state would overcome the problem of revenue in June.
“Initially, when the lockdown began, we faced a problem of income. In May, we got Rs 6,000 crore as revenues and we expect to compensate the loses in June. The government needs Rs 15,000 crore per month. Despite the shortfall, we gave salaries on time to 16 lakh government employees and 12 lakh pensioners,” he said.
Adityanath said that his government had already curbed expenditure to a large extent.
He said that the focus of the government would change in the coming days and policies were being modified to welcome new industries to the state. He said the MSME ministry and concerned officials were working on this.
The Chief Minister said that the government was determined to further strengthen the medical infrastructure and schemes like ‘One district, One product’ were being used to employ migrant workers as per their their skills.
Talking about farmers, Adityanath said that in order to prevent distress sale, the government had announced minimum support price (MSP) which was one-and-a-half time the cost of the crop.
“Under the Kisan Samman Nidhi,” we have given Rs 2,000 to each farmer,” he stated.
He also appealed to the private establishments not to retrench staff.
“We are coming up with special schemes for the educated youth and we will have apprentice schemes for them,” he added.
Adityanath said that India and Nepal may be two political entities, but they have one soul.
“The two countries have cultural, historical and mythological links that date back to several centuries and Nepal should remember this,” he said.
The Goraksh Peeth in Gorakhpur, of which Adityanath is the head, has been serving as a cultural and religious bridge between the two countries and a large percentage of the Nepal population holds the temple in high esteem.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath slammed the opposition, which has been criticizing his handling of the Covid-19 crisis.
“The opposition is steeped in negativity and is completely disconnected with ground realities. They should interact with people who will tell them how much our government has done in dealing with the crisis,” he said while speaking exclusively to a select group of journalists.
The Chief Minister said that the opposition leaders have made it a habit of making negative statements from their air-conditioned drawing rooms.
Adityanath said that his government has managed to contain the pandemic and the state only has about 3,200 active cases at the moment while 5,000 patients have been treated successfully and discharged from the hospitals.

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