Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level virtual meeting to review the COVID-19 pandemic situation in India on Sunday, January 9. The conference was held to assess the emergence of a new variant, Omicron, its public health implications, preparation of health infrastructure & logistics, and the status of the country's vaccination campaign.
PM Modi said he would hold a similar review meeting with the Chief Ministers in the upcoming days to discuss state-specific scenarios, best practices and public health response. He stressed continuous research in testing, vaccines and pharmacological interventions, including genome sequencing, since the virus is evolving continuously.
A detailed presentation highlighting the spike in infection and high positivity rate in several states and districts was given by Secretary Health. It included the different predictive scenarios of peak cases and various efforts of the central government in backing states to manage the upcoming challenges.
The PM asked officials to coordinate with states to ensure adequate health infrastructure at the district level. The meeting discussed strategies to support states in upgrading health infrastructure, testing capacity, availability of oxygen & ICU beds, and buffer stock of COVID essential drugs under Emergency COVID Response Package (ECRP-II).
The health officials informed the PM about India's consistent efforts towards the vaccination campaign, under which within seven days, 31 per cent of adolescents (15-18 years) have been administered with the 1st dose. The PM asserted to accelerate the adolescents' vaccination drive in mission mode.
PM Modi directed the authorities that intensive containment and active surveillance should continue in clusters reporting higher cases. He said that the states presently reporting the higher infection must be provided with the required technical support.
The PM emphasised the continuation of Jan Andolan, focused on implenting COVID Appropriate Behaviour. He said the usage of masks, physical distancing, implementation of home isolation for mild/asymptomatic infection and disseminating factually correct information to the public.
PM Modi highlighted the need to leverage telemedicine to provide health-related guidance to people in remote and rural areas. He also spoke about the need to ensure the continuity of non-COVID health services while currently managing the coronavirus cases.
Thanking The Warriors
The PM conveyed his gratitude to the healthcare workers for their relentless services in managing the COVID-19 pandemic. He suggested ensuring the vaccination coverage through precautionary dose for healthcare workers, and front line workers should also be taken up in mission mode.
PM Modi informed about the review meeting through his Twitter account and shared the link to the press release.
The meeting was attended by Union Minister Amit Shah, Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare Smt. Bharati Pravin Pawar, and ICMR DG Dr Balram Bhargava. Other top officials that participated in the meeting included a member of NITI Aayog (Health), Cabinet Secretary, Home Secretary, Secretary (MoHFW), etc.
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