Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday rolled out an action plan to fortify the rural areas in the fight to defeat the deadly coronavirus wave sweeping across the nation.
At a high level meeting to take stock of the grim Covid-19 situation, he directed top officials to augment healthcare resources so that door to door testing and surveillance can be carried in affected villages nationwide.
Prime Minister also directed that a distribution plan for ensuring oxygen supply in rural areas should be worked out, which should include the provision of oxygen conncentrators. He emphasised that necessary training should be provided to health workers in the operation of such equipment, and round the clock power supply should be ensured for smooth operation of such medical devices.
He also called for empowering ASHA and Anganwadi workers with all the necessary tools and making guidelines for home isolation and treatment of Covid-19 available in simple language along with illustrations so that they can be easily understood by the village folk.
PM Modi said that localised containment strategies are the need of the hour especially for states where the test positivity rate (TPR) in districts is high. He issued instructions for scaling up both RT-PCR and Rapid Tests, especially in in such areas.
The roadmap for future vaccine availability was also discussed. He also directed officials to work closely with states to ramp up the speed of vaccination and took a look at the data for the state-wise coverage of the 45+ population.
The Prime Minister took serious note of some reports about ventilators lying unutilized in storage in some states and directed that an immediate audit of installation and operation of ventilators provided by the Central Government should be carried out. The Prime Minister added that refresher training for properly operating ventilators should be provided to healthcare workers if necessary.
The PM also said that states should be encouraged to report their numbers transparently and high numbers should not be seen as an indicator of bad performance.
Senior officials informed the PM that testing has gone up rapidly in the country, from around 50 lakh tests per week in early March to around 1.3 crore tests per week now.
They also highlighted the fact that the test positivity rate was gradually decreasing while the recovery rate was on the rise. The number of fresh Covid-19 cases in the country which had gone past the 4 lakh per day mark are now coming down as a result of the efforts by healthcare workers, state governments and the central government.
Officials gave a detailed presentation on the state & district level situation of Covid, testing, oxygen availability, healthcare infrastructure and the vaccination roadmap ahead.
PM said that India’s fight against Covid has been guided throughout by scientists and subject experts and this process would continue in the days ahead. .