Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on Sunday to review the COVID-19 situation and the vaccination programme amid a surge in coronavirus cases. Top officials including, 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 and NITI Aayog members attended the meeting.
The Prime Minister said the five-fold strategy of Testing, Tracing, Treatment, Covid-appropriate behaviour and Vaccination would help curb the spread of the pandemic.
During the meeting a special campaign was announced for Covid appropriate behaviour with emphasis on 100 percent mask usage, personal hygiene and sanitation at public places /workplaces and health facilities. The event will be observed from April 6 to April 14, 2021.
Apart from enforcing covid appropriate behaviour, the Prime Minister highlighted availability of beds, testing facilities and timely hospitalization. He ordered ramping up healthcare infrastructure, availability of oxygen, ventilators and ensuring that clinical management protocols are followed across all hospitals and those in-home care.
The Prime Minister directed that central expert teams to be sent to Maharashtra in view of surge in cases and deaths. He also ordered the special teams to visit Punjab and Chhattisgarh due to the disproportionate number of deaths being reported.
Eight states including Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat account for 80.96 per cent of the 93,249 new daily COVID-19 cases, according to the Union Health Ministry.
India’s total active caseload has reached 6,91,597 and now comprises 5.54 per cent of the country’s total infections. A net rise of 32,688 cases recorded in the total active caseload in a span of 24 hours. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Punjab cumulatively account for 76.41 per cent of the total active cases in the country, the ministry said.
Maharashtra alone accounts for more than half (58.19%) of the country’s total active caseload. Eight states account for 85.19 per cent of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (277). Punjab follows with 49 daily deaths, the ministry said.
India on Sunday recorded 93,249 new coronavirus infections, the highest single-day rise so far this year, which took the total COVID-19 cases to 1,24,85,509, according to Union health ministry data. This is the biggest daily rise in cases since September 19, when 93,337 fresh infections were recorded.
The death toll climbed to 1,64,623 on Sunday with 513 new fatalities, the ministry data updated at 8 am showed.
A brief presentation on the performance of COVID-19 vaccination drive was also made wherein details of vaccination drive in various groups, performance compared to other countries, and analysis of State-wise performance were discussed. It was suggested that daily performance analysis should be shared with States and UTs as feedback for corrective actions.
The PM 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.
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.