New Delhi: On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged all chief ministers to remain vigilant as “the threat of Covid-19 has not been completely removed”. While interacting with key ministers on the emerging Covid-19 situation in the country, he also said the government’s priority is to vaccinate all eligible children at the earliest with special campaigns needed in schools.
The interaction, conducted in virtual mode, took place on a day when India recorded 2,927 new cases – the highest single-day jump since March 13 – and 32 related deaths in the past 24 hours. . Among those present by the Chief Minister were Mamata Banerjee from West Bengal, Bhupesh Baghel from Chhattisgarh and Bhagwant Mann from Punjab. Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya were also present.
Affirming that India has fought a long battle against Covid-19 in the spirit of Cooperative Federalism enshrined in the Constitution, the Prime Minister commended Chief Ministers, officers and all corona warriors for their efforts. He said it was clear the coronavirus challenge was not completely over yet. He said that Omicron and its sub-variants can create problems, as has been evident in the case of many countries in Europe.
Mr Modi said India had been able to handle the situation better than many countries. “Yet, over the past two weeks, the increase in cases in some states shows that we must remain vigilant.”
He stressed that the dual strategy of getting cases under control and allowing the economy to continue should remain the priority. “During the third wave, we witnessed more than three lakh daily cases. Each state has handled these cases well. They have also allowed economic and social activity to continue.
This balance should be part of the future strategy. Our scientists and experts are constantly monitoring the global situation. Based on their advice, we must adopt a preventive, proactive and collective approach. »
The prime minister said preventing the spread of infection at the very beginning was the government’s priority and should remain the same today. He specifically told states that for early tracking of variants, local government should perform 100% PCR RT testing on all hospitalized patients with influenza illness and severe acute respiratory illness.
Mr Modi said: “Our priority is to stop infections early on. We must continue to make it our priority now. We need to effectively implement the test, trace and treat strategy. It is very important that we perform 100% RT PCR testing on hospitalized patients with influenza-like illness and severe acute respiratory illness; all positive cases should be sent for genome sequencing. By doing this, we will be able to detect new variants.
The Prime Minister stressed that the priority in the new phase of the pandemic should be to vaccinate the entire eligible child population – urging states to implement special vaccination campaigns as children return to school after a long break . “After a long break, schools have reopened in our country. Some parents are concerned about the increase in cases in some places. Some schools are reporting that children have tested positive for Covid-19… Our priority is to vaccinate the entire eligible child population. For this, we must organize special campaigns in schools. We need to educate parents and teachers about the importance of vaccination,” he said.
Mr Modi called on states to ensure that all medical oxygen plants, including hospital beds, are fully functional. “We talked about upgrading health infrastructure. We need to make sure the upgrade is completed quickly.
We are in a better position regarding the availability of beds, ventilators and PSA oxygen plants. But we have to make sure that all these facilities are fully functional. They must be monitored and responsibilities must be fixed. If there are any shortcomings, that is my request, that they be checked at the highest level. We also need to strengthen our infrastructure and our staff in medical schools and district hospitals…”, added the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister urged states to promote Covid-19 appropriate behavior at social gatherings, but added that at the same time care must be taken that no panic was created among the public.
He also reiterated that vaccination will remain the most effective shield against severe Covid-19. “Despite many geographic challenges, vaccines have reached the last mile. It is a matter of pride that 96% of the adult population received the first dose and 85% of people over the age of 15 received their first dose. The opinion of experts is that vaccines are the greatest shield of protection,” Mr Modi said.