During the meeting with PM Modi, it was highlighted that there is an ‘alarming rate’ of growth of Covid-19 cases and deaths in the country with 10 states contributing to more than 91% of cases and deaths due to COVID
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairing a high-level meeting on Sunday to review the COVID-19 situation in the country, Centre listed out three main reasons behind the unprecedented surge in novel coronavirus cases.
It was noted that the situation in Maharashtra, Punjab and Chhattisgarh is of serious concern. As of date, Maharashtra has contributed 57% of total cases in the country in the last 14 days and 47% of deaths in the country during the same period. In Maharashtra, the total number of new cases per day has touched 47,913 which is more than double its earlier peak.
Punjab has contributed 4.5% of the total number of cases in the country in the last 14 days. However, it has contributed 16.3% of the total number of death, which is a matter of serious concern. Similarly, though Chhattisgarh has contributed 4.3% of total cases in the country over the last 14 days, its contribution in total death has exceeded 7% during the same period. The 10 high burden States and UTs are contributing 91.4% of total cases and 90.9% of total deaths in the country.
Although the exact contribution of mutant strains to the escalation of cases in some States remains speculative, the measures to control the pandemic remain the same and hence implementation of various protocols for COVID-19 management are all the more critical in those areas.
Among other things, PM Modi directed that central teams consisting of public health specialists be sent to Maharashtra, Punjab and Chhattisgarh, where the situation was of serious concern, and said the five-fold strategy of testing, tracing, treatment, COVID-appropriate behaviour and vaccination if implemented with utmost seriousness and commitment would be effective in curbing the pandemic’s spread, according to an official statement.
Prime Minister Modi called for avoiding mortality under all circumstances by ramping up healthcare infrastructure and other measures and exhorted that all states need to take required stringent measures with comprehensive restrictions in places witnessing high surge to curb the spread.
For sustainable COVID-19 management, awareness of the community and its involvement is paramount, Modi said, adding that and there is a need to continue ‘Jan Bhagidari’ and ‘Jan Andolan’.
A special campaign for COVID-appropriate behaviour with emphasis on 100 percent mask usage, personal hygiene and sanitation at public places, workplaces and health facilities will be organised between April 6-14, the statement said.
A brief presentation on the performance of COVID-19 vaccination drive was also made wherein details of the coverage of vaccination in various groups, performance with respect to other countries and analysis of State’s performance was deliberated upon. It was suggested that daily analysis of performance should be shared with States and UTs as feedback for corrective actions.
Research and development of vaccines were also discussed along with the production capacity of existing manufacturers and the capacity of vaccines that are under trials. It was informed that vaccine manufacturers are ramping up their production capacity and are also in discussion with other domestic and offshore companies to augment the same. It was highlighted that all efforts are underway to secure adequate quantities of vaccines to meet the rising domestic requirements as well as to meet the genuine needs of other countries in the spirit of ‘Vasudhaiv Kutumbkam’.
The Prime Minister directed to continue with the mission-mode approach in the states and districts reporting high cases so that the collective gains of COVID-19 management in the country in the last 15 months are not squandered.
The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary to PM, Cabinet Secretary, Home Secretary, Chairperson (Empowered group on Vaccine Administration), Secretary Health, Secretary Pharmaceuticals, Secretary Biotechnology, Secretary AYUSH, DG ICMR, Principal Scientific Advisor to Govt of India and Member NITI Aayog besides other officials.