Underlining that vaccination was the biggest safeguard against Covid-19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked the people not to take the challenge posed by the virus lightly, saying Omicron and its subvariants could create problems as was being witnessed in many European countries.
”Corona challenge is not fully over. The subvariants are causing surges in many countries,” he noted at a meeting with the chief ministers to review the Covid-19 situation in the country.
Noting that India has been able to deal with the situation better than many countries, Modi drew attention to the increase in the number of cases in some states in the last weeks. ”Increasing cases show that we need to stay alert,” he added.
Modi was happy that India fought a long battle against Corona in the spirit of cooperative federalism enshrined in the Constitution.
The PM mentioned that schools have opened after a long time but some parents were worried over the increased number of cases in some places. He expressed satisfaction that more and more children were getting vaccinated.
He recalled that in March, a campaign to vaccinate those in the 12-14 age group was started and only yesterday permission was granted for giving Covaxine to the children in the 6-12 age group.
“Our priority is to vaccinate all eligible children at the earliest. For this, as before, special campaigns will also be needed in schools. Teachers and parents should be aware of this,” said the PM. A precautionary dose was available for all adults in the country to strengthen the vaccine protective shield. Teachers, parents and other eligible people could take the precautionary dose, he added.
Modi said the Omicron wave was handled with determination and without panic. In the last two years, all aspects of the fight against Corona, whether health infrastructure, oxygen supply or vaccination have been strengthened. In the third wave, none of the states saw the situation getting out of control.
During the third wave, India witnessed up to 3 lakh cases per day and all states effectively handled the situation and also allowed the social and economic activity to continue. ”This balance should inform our strategy in future also,” he said.
The PM informed that the situation was being constantly monitored by the scientists and experts and everybody ought to work pro-actively on their suggestions. “Preventing infections at the very beginning was our priority and should remain so even now. We have to implement our strategy of the test, track and treat with the same efficacy,” he said.
He said it was a matter of pride that 96 per cent of the adult population was vaccinated with at least one dose and about 84 per cent of people above 15 years of age have received both doses. Vaccine, as per experts, was the biggest safeguard against Corona, he added.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke about the recent increase in Covid cases in some states and about the need to follow test, track, treat, and vaccination and ensure Covid appropriate behaviour.
The chief ministers thanked the PM for timely guidance and support since the start of the pandemic. They gave an overview of the status of Covid cases and vaccination in their respective states.