Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday held a high-level meeting to review the COVID-19 pandemic situation in the country with particular focus on awareness and preparedness to deal with the rise in Covid cases fueled by Omicron variant across the country.
Prime Minister Modi called for ensuring adequate health infrastructure at the district level. He underlined the need for accelerating the vaccine drive for adolescents in a mission mode, a PMO note here said after the meeting.
“Need continuous scientific research in testing, vaccines and pharmacological interventions including genome sequencing given that the virus is evolving continuously,” the Prime Minister emphasized.
Modi said there is a need to ensure continuity of non-Covid health services and leverage telemedicine to ensure availability of health related guidance to people in remote and rural areas.
The Prime Minister said a meeting of the state chief ministers be convened to discuss state-specific scenarios, best-practices and the public health response.
Modi said a public awareness campaign or ‘Jan Andolan’ focusing on Covid appropriate behaviour is critical in our ongoing battle against COVID-19.
Modi took stock of the ongoing preparedness of health infrastructure and logistics, status of the vaccination campaign in the country and the emergence of new Covid-19 variant Omicron and its public health implications for the country.
The meeting was attended among others by Home Minister Amit Shah, Health and Family Welfare Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare Bharati Pravin Pawar, Member (Health) NITI Aayog V K Paul, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Home Secretary A K Bhalla, Secretary (MoHFW) Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary (Biotechnology Rajesh Gokhale, DG ICMR Balram Bhargava, CEO NHA R S Sharma besides Secretary Pharmaceuticals, Civil Aviation, External Affairs, Member NDMA and others.
A detailed presentation highlighting the surge in cases currently being reported globally was given by the Health Secretary. This was followed by the status of COVID-19 in India highlighting various states and districts of concern, based on the surge in cases and high positivity being reported. Further, various efforts taken by the Central government so far in terms of supporting states to manage the upcoming challenge were highlighted. Various predictive scenarios of peak cases were also presented.
The support to the States to upgrade health infrastructure, testing capacity, availability of oxygen and ICU beds, and buffer stock of covid essential drugs under Emergency Covid Response Package (ECRP-II) was presented.
Prime Minister Modi stressed on the need to ensure adequate health infrastructure at the district level. He asked officials to maintain co-ordination regarding this with the states.
The presentation highlighted India’s consistent efforts towards the vaccination campaign, with 31 per cent adolescents aged 15-18 years having been administered with the first dose so far within 7 days. He noted this achievement and urged to further accelerate the vaccine drive for adolescents in mission mode.
After detailed discussion, Modi asserted that intensive containment and active surveillance should continue in clusters reporting higher cases and required technical support be provided to states which are reporting higher cases presently. He highlighted the need to ensure effective usage of masks and physical distancing measures as a new normal to control the spread. He further called for the need for effective implementation of Home Isolation for mild and asymptomatic cases and to disseminate the factual information to the community at large.
“A meeting with chief ministers be convened to discuss state-specific scenarios, best-practices and the public health response,” the Prime Minister said.
Modi highlighted the need to ensure continuity of non-Covid health services while managing Covid cases presently. He also stressed on the need to leverage telemedicine to ensure availability of health related guidance to people in remote and rural areas.
Seeking to convey his gratitude for the relentless services provided by healthcare workers in managing Covid-19 so far, the Prime Minister suggested to ensure that the vaccination coverage through precaution dose for healthcare workers and frontline workers should also be taken up in mission mode.
He also underscored the importance for continuous scientific research in testing, vaccines and pharmacological interventions including genome sequencing given that the virus is evolving continuously.