New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired a high-level meeting to assess the COVID-19 pandemic situation in the country, 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.
A detailed presentation highlighting the surge in cases currently being reported globally was given by Secretary Health.
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 & ICU beds, and buffer stock of covid essential drugs under Emergency Covid Response Package (ECRP-II) was presented.
PM 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 brought attention to India’s consistent efforts towards the vaccination campaign, with 31% adolescents aged 15-18 years having been administered with the 1st dose so far within 7 days.
PM noted this achievement and urged to further accelerate the vaccine drive for adolescents in mission mode.
After detailed discussion, PM directed 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. PM further exhorted the need for effective implementation of Home Isolation for mild/asymptomatic cases and to disseminate the factual information to the community at large.
PM said that a meeting with CMs be convened to discuss state-specific scenarios, best-practices and the public health response.
He further highlighted the need to ensure continuity of non-Covid health services while managing Covid cases presently. He also spoke about the need to leverage telemedicine to ensure availability of health related guidance to people in remote and rural areas.
While conveying his gratitude for the relentless services provided by healthcare workers in managing Covid-19 so far, he suggested to ensure that the vaccination coverage through precaution dose for healthcare workers, front line workers should also be taken up in mission mode.
PM also spoke about the importance for continuous scientific research in testing, vaccines and pharmacological interventions including genome sequencing given that the virus is evolving continuously.