The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi chaired a comprehensive high-level meeting with Chief Ministers and Lt. Governors/ Administrators of States/UTs to review Public Health Preparedness to COVID19 and National COVID19 Vaccination Progress. Union Ministers Shri Amit Shah, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar were among those present. Officials briefed the meeting about the latest updates on the pandemic situation.
Addressing the meeting, the Prime Minister noted that India’s battle with the biggest pandemic of 100 years has now entered its third year. “Hard work is our only path and victory is our only option. We, 130 crore people of India, will surely emerge victorious against Corona with our efforts”, he said.
The Prime Minister said the earlier confusion about Omicron is slowly getting cleared now. The Omicron variant is infecting the general public many times faster than the earlier variants. “We have to be alert, be careful, but we also have to take care that there is no panic situation. We have to see that in this festive season, the alertness of the people and the administration is not lowered anywhere. The way the central and state governments had adopted a pre-emptive, proactive and collective approach, the same is the mantra of victory this time as well. The more we can limit the corona infection, the less the problem will be, he added.
The Prime Minister said irrespective of the variant, proven way to tackle the pandemic remains vaccination only. He remarked that made in India vaccines are proving their superiority all over the world. It is a matter of pride for every Indian that today India has given the first dose to about 92 percent of the adult population. The coverage of the second dose has also reached around 70 percent in the country, he informed. The Prime Minister highlighted that within 10 days, India has also vaccinated about 30 million of its adolescents. The sooner the precaution dose is given to the frontline workers and senior citizens, the more the capacity of our healthcare system will increase. “We have to intensify the Har Ghar Dastak campaign for 100% vaccination”, he added. He also stressed the need to counter any misinformation about vaccines or the practice of wearing masks.
The Prime Minister stressed that while making any strategy, it is very important to keep in mind that there should be minimum damage to the livelihood of the common people, economic activities, and momentum of the economy should be maintained. So it would be better to focus more on local containment. He stressed that we should be in the position to provide maximum treatment in home isolation situations and for that home isolation guidelines should keep on improving and they should be strictly followed. He said that use of tele-medicine facilities in treating will help a great deal.
Regarding health infrastructure, the Prime Minister lauded the states for using the 23,000 crore rupees package that was given earlier to revamp the health infrastructure. Under this more than 800 paediatric units all over the country, 1.5 lakh new ICU and HDU beds, more than 5 thousand special ambulances, more than 950 liquid medical oxygen storage tank capacity have been added. The Prime Minister stressed the need to keep on expanding the infrastructure. “In order to defeat Corona we need to keep our readiness ahead of every variant. Along with tackling Omicron, we need to start preparing for any future variant from now itself”, the Prime Minister said.
The Chief Ministers thanked the Prime Minister for his leadership during the successive waves of Covid-19. They especially thanked the Prime Minister for his support & guidance and for funds provided by the Central Government which has been of immense help in boosting health infrastructure in the states. The Chief Ministers talked about preparedness to tackle increasing cases, through steps like increase in beds, oxygen availability etc. Karnataka CM talked about the spread of cases in Bengaluru and measures taken to contain spread in apartments. West Bengal CM talked about the possible increase in cases in the State on account of upcoming festivities and the administration’s preparation to tackle it. Tamil Nadu CM said the state stands together with the Centre in the fight against this wave. Jharkhand CM talked about misconceptions in some rural and tribal areas which have caused some difficulties in the vaccination programme. Uttar Pradesh CM talked about steps being taken to ensure that no one is left out of the vaccination drive. Punjab CM thanked the Prime Minister for fund and infrastructure support, especially in meeting oxygen requirements. Assam CM said that steps like precaution dose have proved to be an immense confidence booster. Manipur CM said that the state is taking efforts to increase the vaccination coverage.