Open more vaccination centres, scale up RT-PCR tests: PM interacts with the CMs on Covid-19 situation
GN Bureau | March 17, 2021
Amid the resurgence of daily numbers of new cases in a few states and fears of the ‘second wave’, prime minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urged the chief ministers to take quick and decisive steps, stressing on ramping up vaccination as well as testing.
Addressing the chief ministers in the video conference, the prime minister said that more than 96% of the cases in India have recovered and the country has one of the lowest fatality rates in the world. He expressed concern about the high test positivity rate in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Seventy districts have witnessed a 150 percent rise in the last few weeks. He urged all to make efforts to stop this emerging ‘second peak’ immediately and warned that if we do not stop this growing pandemic now, then a countrywide outbreak can occur.
For stopping this emerging "second peak" of Corona, the PM stressed the need to take quick and decisive steps. Noting that the seriousness of the local administration about the use of masks is going down, the PM called for immediate addressing of the governance problems at the regional level. 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.
Modi 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.
He 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.
He 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.
Modi 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.
In the video conference, the challenge of maintaining Covid-appropriate behaviour of people in public places was also discussed in light of the recent rise in the number of cases in some states. The chief ministers agreed on the necessity of greater vigilance and monitoring of the situation.
Home minister Amit Shah named the districts which needed special focus in order to contain the spread of the virus. The union health secretary gave a presentation on the current situation in the country and the vaccination strategy.
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