Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday 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.
Interacting online with chief ministers of eight worst-hit states to discuss the coronavirus situation and preparations for vaccine delivery, the prime minister also called for more RT-PCR tests, even as he underlined that India’s COVID-19 situation is stable than other countries, in terms of recovery and fatality rates.
Modi asked them to work towards bringing the positive rate to less than 5 per cent and the fatality rate to under 1 per cent and called for more RT-PCR tests.
“We need to speed up our efforts to reduce transmission of the virus. Testing, confirmation, contact tracing and data must be given top priority,” he 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,” Modi said.
Speaking after the vitual meeting, 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 etc, to those above 50 years of age in third stage and to those with co-morbid conditions in the fourth stage.”
The meeting was also attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, while the chief ministers who participated in the virtual interaction include Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal, Rajasthan’s Ashok Gehlot, West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee, Maharashtra’s Uddhav Thackeray, Chhattisgarh’s Bhupesh Baghel and Gujarat’s Vijay Rupani.
A massive network of testing to treatment is running well in the entire country and it is being regularly widened, the prime minister said.
Modi has held several rounds of virtual meetings with states over the coronavirus situation so far.
While 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 night curfews in some cities.
India saw 37,975 new coronavirus infections being reported on Monday, taking the country’s COVID-19 caseload to 91.77 lakh, while the recoveries crossed 86 lakh, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday.