Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday told the Chief Ministers of states that the COVID challenge is not fully over and they must stay alert in implementing measures to prevent spread of the disease.
Chairing a meeting with the Chief Ministers to review the COVID-19 situation amid the surge in COVID cases, PM Modi said, "During the third wave, India witnessed up to 3 lakh cases per day and all states handled the situation and also allowed the social and economic activity to continue. This balance should inform our strategy in future also. The situation is being constantly monitored by scientists and experts and we have to work proactively on their suggestions."
"It is clear that the COVID challenge is not fully over. Omicron and its subvariants can create problems as is evident in the case of many countries of Europe. The subvariants are causing many surges in many countries. India has been able to deal with the situation better than many countries. Still, in the last two weeks, increasing cases in some of the states show that we need to stay alert," PM Modi said.
He urged them to draw on the country’s past experience to implement the 'test, track and treat' strategy with the same efficacy as it was done during the earlier COVID waves in the country.
"Preventing infections at the very beginning was our priority and should remain so even now. We have to implement our strategy of 'test, track and treat' with the same efficacy," the Prime Minister explained.
He emphasized cent per cent testing of serious influenza cases and genome sequencing of the positive cases, Covid appropriate behaviour in public places and avoiding panic. He also emphasized the continued upgradation of health infrastructure and medical manpower.
The Prime Minister pointed out that the "massive vaccination drive" had helped to keep the situation under control during the third wave in the country and said that it is the "biggest safeguard against COVID".
"In the third wave, none of the states saw the situation going out of control. This should be seen in the context of the massive vaccination drive. The vaccine reached each and every person and it is a matter of pride that 96 per cent of our adult population is vaccinated with at least one dose and about 84 per cent of people above 15 years of age have received both doses. According to experts, vaccines are the biggest safeguard against corona," he said.
The Prime Minister also mentioned the Emergency Use Authorization given to Covaxine for the vaccination of 6 to 12 years age group children and said that the priority should be to vaccinate eligible children at the earliest.
"In March, the campaign to vaccinate 12-14 years of age was started and only yesterday, permission has been granted for Covaxine vaccine for 6-12-year-old children. 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 about this," PM Modi said.
"Precautionary dose is available for all adults in the country to strengthen the vaccine protective shield. Teachers, parents, and other eligible people can take the precautionary dose," he added.
The Prime Minister also flagged the increasing fire incidents in forests and buildings as temperatures were rising. He asked the states to carry out special fire safety audits of hospitals. PM Modi said that the "arrangements for meeting this challenge should be comprehensive and our response time should be the minimum".