NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday chaired a high-level meeting to assess the Covid-19 situation in the country, preparedness of health infrastructure and logistics, status of the vaccination campaign in the country and the emergence of new Covid-19 variants and their public health implications for the country. The high-level review meeting comes in the backdrop of a spike in Covid-19 cases in some countries.
A comprehensive presentation was made regarding the global Covid-19 situation, including the rising cases in countries by the secretary and Member (health), NITI Aayog, Dr V K Paul. The Prime Minister was briefed that India has been witnessing a steady decline in cases with average daily cases falling to 153 and weekly positivity rate down to 0.14% in the week ending December 22. However, 5.9 lakh daily average cases have been reported globally since the last six weeks.
The Prime Minister cautioned against complacency and advised strict vigil. He reiterated that Covid is not over yet and directed officials to strengthen the ongoing surveillance measures, especially at the international airports.
The Prime Minister stressed the need to ensure that the entire Covid infrastructure at all levels is maintained at a high levels of preparedness in terms of equipment, processes and human resources. He advised states to audit Covid-specific facilities to ensure operational readiness of hospital Infrastructure, including oxygen cylinders, PSA plants, ventilators and human resources.
- PM chairs high-level meeting to review status and preparedness of public health response to Covid-19.
- Cautions against complacency, advises for maintaining strict vigil.
- Emphasises the need for strengthened surveillance with focus on genome sequencing and increased testing.
- Advises states to ensure operational readiness of hospital infrastructure.
- Advises adherence to Covid-appropriate behavior, including wearing of mask.
- Stresses on precaution dose vaccination for elderly and vulnerable population groups.
- Appreciates the selfless service of frontline workers and Corona warriors.
Modi directed the officials to ramp up testing and also genomic sequencing efforts. States have been asked to share a larger number of samples with the designated INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (lGSLs) for genome sequencing on a daily basis. This will support timely detection of newer variants, if any, circulating in the country and facilitate undertaking requisite public health measures.
The PM urged everyone to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour at all times, especially in view of the upcoming festive season, including wearing masks in crowded public places. He also urged that that precaution dose may be encouraged, especially for vulnerable and elderly groups.
The Prime Minister was informed that there is adequate availability with regard to medicines, vaccines and hospital beds. He advised regular monitoring of availability and prices of essential medicines.
Highlighting the globally appreciated work of the frontline healthcare workers, the Prime Minister exhorted them to continue working in the same selfless and dedicated manner.
The meeting was attended by Amit Shah, Union Home Minister; Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of Health and Family Welfare; Jyotiraditya Scindia, Minister of Civil Aviation, Dr S Jaishankar; Minister of External Affairs, Anurag Thakur, Minister of Information and Broadcasting; Bharati Pravin Pawar, Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare; P K Mishra, Principal Secretary to PM, Parameswaran Iyer, CEO, NITI Aayog; Dr V K Paul, Member (Health) NITI Aayog; Rajiv Gauba, Cabinet Secretary; Amit Khare, Adviser, PMO; A K Bhalla, Home Secretary; Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Health and Family Welfare; Dr Rajiv Bahl, Secretary (DHR); Arun Baroka, Secretary, Pharmaceuticals (I/C); along with other senior officials.