New Delhi | Pratyush Ranjan: Jagran New Media has launched its COVID-specific series 'Jagran Dialogues' to address people's concerns about the infection and bust myths around the pandemic. In the recent episode of Jagran Dialogues, Jagran New Media's senior editor Pratyush Ranjan spoke with Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Minister Sidharth Nath Singh and discussed the COVID situation in the state and what steps the Yogi Adityanath government has taken to ensure that the state's economy stays on track.

Here are the excerpts from the conversation:

Question: Several districts of Uttar Pradesh were severely affected by the second wave of the pandemic in April and May this year, claiming hundreds of lives. However, the situation has significantly improved since then. Please tell our viewers how did the Yogi government manage to control COVID-19 in Uttar Pradesh.

Sidharth Nath Singh: The state government followed the strategy of three Ts -- Testing, Tracing and Treatment -- that helped us control the pandemic. Apart from that, our government increased the number of COVID beds and ventilators in the hospitals. Several experts, including the Niti Aayog, had said that UP might report one lakh cases at its peak. However, we managed to control the pandemic effectively and the number of daily cases did not cross the 30,000-mark.

We also focussed on villages and small towns and asked our teams to track cases there. We monitored people in villages and small towns regularly and provided them with the required treatment. If a COVID-19 case was detected, we evacuated that area and contact tracing was conducted that helped in controlling the pandemic. We also faced problems in providing liquid medical oxygen (LMO) but the situation was handled accordingly. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath used to review the oxygen demand in UP daily.

Question: Small businesses were severely affected by the pandemic. How did the Uttar Pradesh government help the MSME sector?

Sidharth Nath Singh: The UP government had started preparing for this after a nationwide lockdown was imposed in India in March 2020. After the lockdown was lifted, we started reopening the economy in a phased manner to bring the economy back on track. We restructured loan schemes and provided Rs 11,000 crore to over 4 lakh units. The state government also launched the MSME Sathi programme and dealt with the issues of businessmen immediately. Free software was provided to entrepreneurs to file returns. Apart from this, loans were distributed in schemes like ODOP. The UP government also got over Rs 4 lakh from the Centre under the Emergency Credit Guarantee Loan Scheme that also helped us reviving the economy of the state.

Watch the full interview here:

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma