PM Modi to Interact with CMs on Thursday Over Covid Situation, Vaccination Drive

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Amid a surge in coronavirus cases, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with chief ministers on Thursday to discuss the COVID-19 situation and the ongoing vaccination drive, sources said Monday. Modi's last interaction with chief ministers was on March 17 during which he had expressed concern over the rise in COVID-19 cases in parts of the country and called for "quick and decisive" steps to check the "emerging second peak".

Coronavirus cases in India hit a record daily high since the outbreak of the pandemic with 1,03,558 new infections pushing the nationwide COVID-19 tally to 1,25,89,067, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday. At a high-level meeting with senior officials, Prime Minister Modi had on Sunday reviewed the COVID-19 situation and vaccination exercise in the country amid the "alarming rate of growth" in infections and deaths.

Modi had 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 spread of the pandemic, according to an official statement that was released after the meeting. The reasons for the sharp rise in cases could be mainly attributed to the severe decline in compliance of COVID-appropriate behaviour, especially in the use of masks and social distancing, pandemic fatigue and lack of effective implementation of containment measures at the field level, according to the statement.

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 had said. In the meeting, the prime minister had highlighted the need to enforce the COVID-appropriate behaviour in the coming days and ensure the availability of beds, testing facilities and timely hospitalisation.

The principal secretary to the prime minister, cabinet secretary, home secretary, chairperson (Empowered group on Vaccine Administration) and health secretary besides other senior officials attended the meeting on Sunday.