Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren today hinted that he may need the military's help to tackle the surging Covid-19 crisis in his state. He also expressed shock at the apparent lack of fear among people despite the raging pandemic.
"We will write to the PM, the Home Minister, Defence Minister...we want to use their manpower and facilities in the state," Mr Soren said, referring to the spike in Covid-19 cases in the state. Yesterday, the state reported 3,838 new cases and 30 deaths, taking its overall figure to almost 1.6 lakh infections and over 1,400 fatalities. India's reported a record 2.61 lakh new cases in the past 24 hours with 1,501 deaths.
"I have just returned from a bye-election programme. I am shaken. People are not wearing masks, they are not maintaining social distancing...Either people have completely lost the fear or there is a strong messaging that is required," Mr Soren said during the NDTV Solutions Summit today.
He appealed to the central government to issue directives to stop people from flouting the Covid norms.
Among the measures that his government could possibly go for to mitigate the conditions are deferring exams and increased tests. Although he said Jharkhand had ample oxygen plants, he said the healthcare care system may still face a shortage.
"The situation in hospitals is becoming critical. We need more Remdesivir injections. The Remdesivir crisis concerning," he said.
Mr Soren talked about the limitations of being coercive with people, especially those who belong to the middle class and lower-middle-class segments.
"What can we prove by applying a fine of Rs 1,000 for not wearing masks on a person who earns only Rs 200 a day?" he asked.
"We can, maybe, consider half-a-day's lockdown, where people begin to think about the situation."