Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday sought the centre's support and help for setting up a permanent infectious disease hospital and research facility near Mumbai.
He put forth the demand while interacting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan at the virtual launch of COVID-19 testing facilities in Noida, Mumbai and Kolkata.
Chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra joined the inauguration of the testing facilities in their respective states via video conference.
Addressing the PM at the event, Uddhav Thackeray said, "I want to set up a permanent infectious disease hospital near Mumbai, where people will be admitted for treatment and simultaneously research can also be conducted. I need your support and help for its construction."
He also sought extension of the ongoing supply of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) kits and N-95 masks to the state from the centre beyond September to deal with the rising cases of COVID-19.
As per existing norms, the centre's mandate to supply PPE kits and N-95 masks - key tools in the fight against coronavirus spread - to states is only till September.
"We are trying to live with the coronavirus crisis. But this is not the last outbreak of the virus. There have been indications of possible virus outbreak in the world in the last 10 years, but we all remained self-centred. It is the time to make some preparations for similar future challenges," Mr Thackeray said.
"There should be an extension of supply of PPE kits and N-95 masks beyond September. We are going to need these equipment for a longer time," said the chief minister.
The three high-tech testing facilities have been set up strategically at ICMR institutions -- National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research in Noida, National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health in Mumbai and National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases in Kolkata.