New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday stressed on increasing the pace of vaccination to fight Covid, as he held a virtual meeting with Chief Ministers of all states to discuss the Covid-19 situation.
The Prime Minister also asked the Chief Ministers to ensure livelihood of common citizens is not affected, and stressed on local containment of infections. He also asked states to increase testing in areas where higher number of cases are being reported.
“India’s fight against the biggest pandemic of 100 years has entered its third year. Hard work is our the only path, victory is the only option,” the Prime Minister said.
He said the Omicron variant of Covid is spreading much faster compared to earlier variants, adding that our scientists and health experts are monitoring the situation.
The Prime Minister said as per experts, vaccination is the biggest weapon against Corona, whichever variant it might be.
“It is a matter of pride for every Indian that today India has given the first dose of vaccine to about 92 percent of the adult population. The coverage of second dose has also reached around 70 percent in the country,” he said.
He also said around three crore youth in the age group 15-18 years have been vaccinated, and providing booster doses to frontline workers and elderly with comorbidities will further strengthen the fight against the virus.
He also cautioned people against rumours and doubts being spread about the vaccine, and said it should be countered effectively.
The Prime Minister also asked states to ensure that livelihood of people is not affected.
“It is very important to keep in mind that there should be minimum damage to the livelihood of the common people, economic activities, and momentum of the economy should be maintained. So it would be better to focus more on local containment,” the PM said.
He stressed that we should be in the position to provide maximum treatment in home isolation situations and for that home isolation guidelines should keep on improving and they should be strictly followed. He said use of tele-medicine facilities in treating will help a great deal.
“It is better to focus on local containment. Wherever more cases are coming, testing should be increased. We should also ensure more people get treated in home isolation,” he said.
The Prime Minister also assured all Chief Ministers that the Centre is standing with the states in support.
PM Modi also talked about ‘kaadha’, a traditional home made herbal concoction which is usually used for cold as a home remedy, even as he cautioned that it is not a medicine.
“We know every home in the country has these traditions, Ayurvedic things, the tradition of having kadha etc, is good in this season. No one says it is medicine, but it has its use… I would also urge the citizens, these traditional things help… we should focus on that as well,” he said.
The high-level meeting included Chief Ministers and Lt. Governors or Administrators of States and Union Territories to review Public Health Preparedness to Covid-19 and National Covid-19 Vaccination Progress. Home Minister Amit Shah, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State Bharati Pravin Pawar were among those present. Officials briefed the meeting about the latest updates on the pandemic situation.
A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said the Chief Ministers thanked the Prime Minister for his leadership during the successive waves of Covid-19.
“They especially thanked the Prime Minister for his support & guidance and for funds provided by the Central Government which has been of immense help in boosting health infrastructure in the states. The Chief Ministers talked about preparedness to tackle increasing cases, through steps like increase in beds, oxygen availability etc,” the statement said.
Karnataka CM talked about the spread of cases in Bengaluru and measures taken to contain spread in apartments. West Bengal CM talked about the possible increase in cases in the State on account of upcoming festivities and the administration’s preparation to tackle it. Tamil Nadu CM said the state stands together with the Centre in the fight against this wave.
Jharkhand CM talked about misconceptions in some rural and tribal areas which have caused some difficulties in the vaccination programme. Uttar Pradesh CM talked about steps being taken to ensure that no one is left out of the vaccination drive. Punjab CM thanked the Prime Minister for fund and infrastructure support, especially in meeting oxygen requirements. Assam CM said steps like precaution dose have proved to be an immense confidence booster. Manipur CM said the state is taking efforts to increase the vaccination coverage, the statement said.