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‘Need to take decisive steps to stop Covid second peak’

PM meets CMs amidst a surge in cases in states, particularly Maharashtra and Punjab

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

At a virtual meeting with state chief ministers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday warned against ‘a second peak’ of the coronavirus pandemic and asked them to take “quick and decisive” steps to contain the spike in Covid-19 cases in their states before it engulfs the entire country.

The meeting held via video conference came amidst a surge in Covid-19 cases in many states including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Punjab in recent days, with some of them contemplating a second phase of lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.

Expressing concern over the high test positivity rate in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, Mr Modi told the chief ministers: “70 districts of the country witnessed 150 percent rise in the last few weeks”. He said this emerging second peak of coronavirus has to be stopped immediately and warned that if we do not stop this now, then a country- wide outbreak can occur.

To stop the emerging “second peak” of coronavirus infections, the Prime Minister stressed on the need to take quick and decisive steps.

He pointed out that the seriousness of local administrations about the use of masks is going down and called for immediately addressing the governance problems at the regional level.

He said: “The need of the hour was to be serious about ‘Test, Track and Treat’ as we have been doing for the last one year.”

Mr Modi said it was very important to track every infected person’s contacts in the shortest time and keep the RT-PCR test rate above 70 percent. He called for more RT-PCR tests in states like Kerala, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh which have stressed more on Rapid antigen tests.

He also asked states to pay special attention to the referral system and ambulance network in small cities as the whole country has opened up for travel.

States should develop a mechanism to share information to follow the SOP for surveillance of the contacts of travellers, especially coming from abroad, he said.

While lauding the continually increased pace of vaccination in the country and the vaccination rates crossing more than 3 million vaccinations in a single day, at the same time he warned the problem of vaccine doses wastage should be taken very seriously.