New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday held a virtual meeting with chief ministers to review the coronavirus situation in the country and talk about the vaccine distribution. Chief Ministers of eight worst Covid-hit states — Maharashtra, Kerala, Delhi, Bengal, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh — had attended today’s meeting along with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.
Currently, the national daily COVID-19 case count has remained below 50,000 for some time, several urban centres have witnessed a surge, resulting in enforcement of several measures, including curfews in some cities. India recorded 44,376 new coronavirus infections and 481 deaths because of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, taking the country’s COVID-19 caseload to 92.22 lakh, while the recoveries crossed 86.4 lakh with active cases at 4,38,667, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.
Here are top points discussed in today’s meeting:
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi cautioned states and union territories against any laxity in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and called for reducing the positivity and fatality rates by focusing on curbing the virus transmission. He added, “The country has sufficient data and has wide experience in COVID-19 management. While making the strategy further, we have to bring down the positivity rate under 5 per cent and fatality rate under 1 per cent.”
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi also asserted that India should increase the RT-PCR tests and further strengthen the efforts to fight coronavirus in the country.
- PM Modi also underlined that India is in a better situation than other countries when it comes to coronavirus recovery and fatality but we need to strengthen our efforts further. He added, “Today I spoke to chief ministers of states where the situation is deteriorating. Discussions over the status and distribution of vaccine took place and the picture is clearer now. As a result of joint efforts, today India is in a better situation.”
- He also emphasized the need for both safety and speed in vaccine distribution, and said, “Safety is as important as speed for us, whichever vaccine India will give to its citizens will be safe on all scientific standards. Vaccine distribution strategy will be chalked out in collective coordination with states. States must also start working cold storage facilities.”
- PM Modi also urged the chief ministers to share their feedback in writing on the COVID-19 strategy. He added, “Seeing good recovery rates, many think the virus is weak and they will recover soon, this has led to rampant carelessness. Those working on vaccine are doing it but we need to focus on ensuring that people are alert and transmission is curbed.”
- Giving feedback to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s virtual meet today, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said his state has cut out the Rapid antigen tests whose results are often inaccurate. All Covid tests being conducted in the state are RT-PCR and the number has touched 30,000-plus every day. Rajasthan said it is also taking other precautions, including a ban on crackers, law on mask usage, night curfew, restraint on gatherings.
- Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said, “PM made it clear that in the first stage the vaccine will be given to the frontline health workers; in the second stage to the police personnel, sanitation workers among others; to those above 50 years of age in third stage and to those with co-morbid conditions in the fourth stage.”
- On the other hand, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal added that the surge in the national capital coronavirus cases is due to air pollution and sought the Prime Minister’s intervention to stop stubble burning in the neighbouring states.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.