Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Wednesday said the state government was taking effective steps to check the spread of Covid in the hill state.

He made the remarks during a virtual review meeting on the Covid pandemic situation in the country with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which the PM also reviewed progress of vaccination campaign in the country with the Chief Ministers of states, Lt Governors and Administrators of the Union Territories.

Thakur said PM Modi expressed concern over the sudden spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in a few states of the country and felt the need for taking effective steps to curb this virus so that the resurgence in virus cases could be checked.

The Prime Minister also felt the need for checking wastage of Covid-19 vaccine and for effective use of face masks and social distancing, he added.

He said Union Home Minister Amit Shah conducted the proceedings of the meeting and he also felt the need to scale up RT-PCR tests by different states. The Chief Minister said the Prime Minister has asked all the states to not only increase testing capacity but also ensure strict implementation of various SOPs issued from time to time by the Government of India.

“Over 1.78 lakh people have been administered vaccination in the state which was about 2.60 percent of the total population. The state government is also keeping an eye on the situation and appropriate steps were being taken accordingly,” the CM said.

Thakur further stated that he would request the Punjab Chief Minister to keep a tab on pilgrims visiting Himachal from the state to check the spread of virus and called for strict implementation of SOPs during the celebration of fairs and other events.

The Secretary, Health, Government of India, Rajesh Bhushan made a presentation on Covid-19 cases in the country and said the death rate of the country due to the virus was amongst lowest in the world. About 3.51 crore people have been administered Covid- 19 vaccine in the country till date and India was second after the United States in number of people administered vaccine, he added.

HP Health Minister Rajiv Saizal, Chief Secretary Anil Khachi, Additional Chief Secretary J C Sharma, Secretary Health Amitabh Awasthi, Advisor cum Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Dr R N Batta, Mission Director NHM Dr Nipun Jindal were also present in the meeting.