Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting today to assess the country’s COVID-19 pandemic situation, ongoing health infrastructure and logistics readiness, vaccination campaign status, and the emergence of new Covid-19 variant Omicron and its public health implications for the country.
Secretary of State for Health gave a detailed presentation emphasising the current global outbreak of cases. The status of COVID-19 in India was then discussed, with particular States and Districts being highlighted as areas of concern, based on the large number of cases and positive results recorded. In addition, the different efforts made so far by the Central Government in terms of assisting States in managing the approaching issue were underlined. Various peak case prediction scenarios were also offered.
Under the Emergency Covid Response Package (ECRP-II), the support for States to update health infrastructure, testing capacity, availability of oxygen and ICU beds, and buffer stock of covid necessary medications was presented. The PM emphasised the need of having enough health facilities at the district level. He requested that officials maintain coordination with the states on this issue.
The presentation highlighted India’s consistent efforts in the vaccine programme, with 31 percent of teenagers aged 15 to 18 years receiving the first shot within seven days. In mission mode, the PM praised this achievement and recommended the immunisation drive for adolescents to be accelerated even more.
Following a thorough deliberation, the Prime Minister requested that intensive containment and active surveillance be maintained in clusters reporting higher case counts, and that the necessary technical assistance be offered to states that are currently reporting higher case counts. As a new normal for controlling the spread, he stressed the importance of ensuring adequate mask use and physical separation measures. PM also emphasised the importance of implementing Home Isolation for mild/asymptomatic patients effectively and disseminating factual information to the general public.
A meeting with CMs will be convened, according to PM, to examine state-specific issues, best-practices, and the public health response.
He also emphasised the importance of maintaining non-Covid health services while currently addressing Covid cases. He also mentioned the importance of leveraging telemedicine to guarantee that people in remote and rural locations have access to health-related advice.
While expressing his gratitude for the tireless services provided by healthcare personnel in controlling Covid-19 thus far, he urged that vaccination coverage for healthcare workers, as well as front line employees, be taken into account in mission mode.
Given the virus’s constant evolution, PM also stressed the significance of ongoing scientific study in testing, vaccinations, and medicinal therapies, including genome sequencing.
Amit Shah, Union Home Minister, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Bharati Pravin Pawar, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. V K Paul, Member (Health) NITI Aayog, Rajiv Gauba, Cabinet Secretary, A.K. Bhalla, Home Secretary, Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary (MoHFW), were also present.