December 23, 2022
NEW DELHI – Reiterating that Covid is not over yet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Thursday, made an appeal to the people to follow Covid appropriate behaviour at all times, especially in view of the upcoming festive season, including wearing masks in crowded public places.
He also stated that precaution dose may be encouraged, especially for vulnerable and elderly groups.
The PM was chairing a high-level meeting to assess the Covid-19 situation in the country, the preparedness of health infrastructure and logistics, the status of the vaccination campaign in the country and the emergence of new Covid-19 variants and their public health implications for the nation. The review meeting came against the backdrop of a spike in Covid-19 cases in some countries.
Modi cautioned the people against complacency and advised strict vigil. He directed officials to strengthen the ongoing surveillance measures, especially at international airports.
A comprehensive presentation was made at the meeting regarding the global Covid-19 situation, including the rising cases in certain countries like China, Brazil, South Korea, Japan and the US, by the health secretary and NITI Aayog members.
The PM was briefed that India has been witnessing a steady decline in cases with average daily cases falling to 153 and weekly positivity down to 0.14 per cent in the week ending 22 December. However, 5.9 lakh daily average cases have been reported globally over the last six weeks.
Modi stressed the need to ensure that the entire Covid infrastructure at all levels is maintained at a high level of preparedness in terms of equipment, processes and human resources. He advised the states to audit Covid-specific facilities to ensure operational readiness of hospital infrastructure, including oxygen cylinders, PSA plants, ventilators and human resources.
He also directed officials to ramp up testing and also genomic sequencing efforts. The states have been asked to share a larger number of samples with the designated INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (lGSLs) for Genome Sequencing on a daily basis. This will support the timely detection of newer variants, if any, circulating in the country and facilitate undertaking requisite public health measures.
The PM was informed that there is adequate availability with regard to medicines, vaccines and hospital beds. He advised the officials to regularly monitor the availability and prices of essential medicines.
Highlighting the globally appreciated work of the frontline healthcare workers, he exhorted them to continue working in the same selfless and dedicated manner.
Others present at the meeting included Home Minister Amit Shah, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and I & B Minister Anurag Thakur.