New Delhi, 17 March 2021: Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi interacted with the Chief Ministers of various states today regarding the COVID-19 situation via video conference.
The Chief Ministers praised the leadership of the Prime Minister in the fight against Covid. They thanked the Prime Minister for the smooth implementation of the vaccination drive all across the country, while also giving their inputs and suggestions to further expand the vaccination coverage.
The challenge of maintaining Covid appropriate behaviour in the general public was also discussed, in light of the recent rise in the number of cases in some states. The Chief Ministers agreed on the requirement of greater vigilance and monitoring of the situation.
The Home Minister listed out the districts on which the Chief Ministers need to put special focus, in order to contain the spread of the virus. The Union Health Secretary gave a presentation on the current Covid situation in the country and the vaccination strategy.
Addressing the Chief Ministers, the Prime Minister said that more than 96% of the cases in India have recovered and India is having one of the lowest fatality rates in the world. He expressed concern about the high test positivity rate in Maharashtra and MP. 70 districts of the country witnessed 150 percent rise in the last few weeks. He urged to stop this emerging “second peak” of Corona immediately and warned that if we do not stop this growing pandemic now, then a country-wide outbreak can occur.
For stopping this emerging “second peak” of Corona, the Prime Minister stressed the need to take quick and decisive steps. He stressed the importance of solving the problems of local governance. He warned that the confidence which came from our achievements in the battle against Corona should not turn into negligence. He further stressed that the public should not be brought to panic mode and at the same time also get rid of trouble. He stressed the need to strategize by incorporating our past experiences, in our efforts.
The Prime Minister noted the need for provision of micro containment zones. He stressed the need to be serious about ‘Test, Track and Treat’ as we have been doing for the last one year. He said it is very important to track every infected person’s contacts in the shortest time and keep the RT-PCR test rate above 70 percent. He insisted on more RT-PCR tests in states which give more emphasis to Rapid antigen tests like Kerala, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and U.P.
The Prime Minister urged to increase testing and to pay special attention to the “referral system” and “ambulance network” in small cities. He said this is because now the whole country has opened up for travel and the number of people travelling has also increased. He stressed on the need for a new mechanism for sharing information among themselves. Similarly, responsibility of following the SOP for surveillance of the contacts of the travelers coming from abroad have also increased.
The Prime Minister remarked that we need to identify mutants of coronavirus and assess their effects. He lauded the continually increased pace of vaccination in the country and the vaccination rates crossing more than 3 million vaccinations in a single day. But at the same time he warned to take the problem of vaccine doses wastage very seriously. He noted that the vaccine waste in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to the tune of 10 percent. He urged to immediately correct the drawbacks of planning and governance at the local level to reduce vaccine waste.
The Prime Minister summed up that along with the above steps the basic steps to prevent the spread of this infection are wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, taking care of cleanliness etc. He urged that there should be no laxity in such steps and people’s awareness will have to be raised on these subjects. He called for increasing the number of vaccination centres and asked to stay vigilant about the vaccine expiry date. ‘Dawai bhi aur kadai bhi’ insisted the Prime Minister.