Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday (27 November) reviewed the situation relating to Covid-19 and the ongoing vaccination drive in the country.
The meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, NITI Aayog member Dr V K Paul, Union Health secretary Rajesh Bhushan and ICMR DG Dr Balram Bhargava and other senior officials.
During the meeting, PM Modi was briefed about the global trends on Covid-19 infections and cases.
The officials highlighted that countries across the world have experienced multiple COVID-19 surges since the onset of the pandemic.
PM Modi also reviewed the national situation relating to Covid-19 cases and test positivity rates.
The officials apprised PM Modi of the progress in vaccination and the efforts being made under the ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ campaign.
PM Modi directed that there is a need to increase the second dose coverage and that states need to be sensitised on the need to ensure that all those who have got the first dose are given the second dose timely.
He was also given details about the sero-positivity in the country from time to time and its implications in public health response.
Further, the officials also briefed PM Modi about the new Variant of Concern ‘Omicron’ along with its characteristics and the impact seen in various countries.
The implications of the 'Omicron' COVID-19 variant in India were also discussed during the meeting.
PM Modi emphasised on the need to be proactive in light of the new variant.
PM Modi said that in light of the new threat, people need to be more cautious and there is a need to take proper precautions like masking and social distancing, according to a PMO release .
He also highlighted the need for monitoring all international arrivals, their testing as per guidelines, with a specific focus on countries identified ‘at risk’.
PM Modi also asked officials to review plans for easing of international travel restrictions in light of the emerging new evidence.
During the meeting, PM Modi was also given an overview of the sequencing efforts in the country and the variants circulating in the country.
PM Modi directed that genome sequencing samples be collected from international travellers and community as per norms, tested through the network of labs already established under INSACOG.
He also spoke about the need to increase the sequencing efforts and make it more broad-based.
PM Modi also directed officials to work closely with state governments to ensure that there is proper awareness at the state and district level. He directed that intensive containment and active surveillance should continue in clusters reporting higher cases and required technical support be provided to states which are reporting higher cases presently.
He also asked that awareness needs to be created about ventilation and air-borne behaviour of the virus.
PM Modi also instructed officials to coordinate with states to ensure that there is adequate buffer stocks of various medicines. He asked officials to work with the states to review the functioning of medical infrastructure including pediatric facilities.
He also asked officials to co-ordinate with states to endure proper functioning of PSA oxygen plants and ventilators.
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