COVID-19 in India: Centre to send teams to states with low vaccination, rising cases, insufficient health infrastructure
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said focus should be on "Prompt and effective Contact Tracing, Ramping up of Testing, Accelerating Vaccination and Strengthening Health Infrastructure".
Updated on 25 Dec 2021, 2:04 pm
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said chaired a high-level meeting to review the status of Covid-19 and Omicron, the new Variant of Concern (VOC), public health response measures for containment and management of COVID19, strengthening of health infrastructure including availability of drugs, oxygen cylinders and concentrators, ventilators, PSA plants, ICU/oxygen supported beds, human resources, IT interventions and status of vaccination.
During the meeting, Modi said India’s focus should be on prompt and effective contact tracing, ramping up of testing, accelerating vaccination and strengthening health infrastructure.
As officials briefed the prime minister about the emerging scenario globally driven by the new variant, he directed them for maintaining a high level of vigil and alertness at all levels.
Centre should work in close coordination with states to support their efforts of public health measures of containment and management under the ‘Whole of Government’ approach, the prime minister said.
“The strategy of the Centre for proactive, focussed, collaborative and cooperative fight against the pandemic should guide all our future actions… In view of the new variant, we should be Satark and Saavdhan,” the PM directed the officials.
The fight against the pandemic is not over and the need for continued adherence to COVID safe behaviour is of paramount importance even today, he said.
Officials should ensure that the health systems in the states, beginning from the district level, are strengthened to meet any challenge posed by the new variant, he said.
“It is important for States to ensure that the Oxygen supply equipments are installed and fully functional, he instructed the officials,” he said.
Modi directed the officials to work with the states on a regular basis and review the status of preparedness of various components of health infrastructure including training and capacity building of human resources, timely availability of ambulances, readiness of states to operationalise COVID facilities for institutional quarantining, and effective and supervised monitoring of those in home isolation.
The prime minister also directed officials for effective use of IT tools for tele-medicine and tele-consultation.
Heightened and close monitoring of emerging clusters and hotspots through and active, prompt and effective surveillance should continue, he stated.
He directed for sending a good number of positive samples for genome sequencing to INSACOG Labs in a prompt manner. Accelerate the testing to ensure quick identification of cases for timely containment and treatment. Focus should also be on effective contact tracing for curbing spread of the transmission, he stated.
The Central Government should send teams to states with low vaccination, rising cases, insufficient health infrastructure to assist them improve the situation.
According to the officials, more than 88 per cent of the eligible population is administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and more than 60 per cent of the eligible population has received the second dose. They said door-to-door Har Ghar Dastak vaccination campaign to mobilise and vaccinate people has been able to motivate people to take the COVID 19 vaccine, and has shown encouraging results in boosting vaccine coverage.
States need to ensure that the eligible population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the prime minister said.
The meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretary, Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, AK Bhalla, Home Secretary, Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary (MoHFW), Secretary (Pharmaceuticals); Dr Rajesh Gokhale, Secretary (Biotechnology); Dr Balram Bhargava, DG ICMR; Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary (AYUSH); Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary (Urban Development); RS Sharma CEO NHA; Prof K Vijay Raghavan (Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India) along with other senior officials.