Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a high-level meeting with ministers on Thursday, 6 May, to review the public health response to the pandemic and plan the ramp-up of the collapsing healthcare infrastructure in light of the surge of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Modi noted that states will receive guidance and support to meet infrastructure requirements. Containment measures were also discussed.
This comes amid a severe shortage of oxygen, medicines, ICU and ventilator beds in several states.
The meeting was attended by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Commerce and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Chemical and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya and other ministers and top officials, as per PTI.
States Asked to Identify Districts of Concern
Modi was briefed on the extent of the COVID outbreak in various states and districts. Twelve states have over 1 lakh active cases. The PM was also notified about districts with high burden of cases. The states were asked to identify districts of concern – those with 10 percent positivity rate and over 60 percent bed occupancy of oxygen or in the ICU, as per the report.
Modi recommended that states shouldn’t decrease the speed of vaccination against COVID-19. The PM was notified that at least 31 percent of people over the age of 45 have been inoculated. As many as 17.7 crore vaccinations have been supplied to the state, as per the PMO.
The PM also reviewed the availability of medicines as well as the plan to scale up production as soon as possible. He was also notified about vaccine wastage.
Modi said healthcare workers must not be diverted for other duties and citizens must be facilitated for vaccination despite lockdowns, added the report.
(With inputs from PTI)