PM Modi Chairs COVID Review Meeting, Stresses on Need for Genome Sequencing

The third wave of the pandemic is predicted to hit the population in September and October.

2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>File image of PM Narendra Modi.</p></div>

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on Friday, 10 September, to review India’s vaccination drive and the current COVID-19 situation in the country, news agency ANI reported.

Topics covered in the meeting included review the preparedness of health systems to respond, availability of medical oxygen and matters relating to production, supply and distribution of COVID vaccine.

It was brought up in the meeting that there are countries where number of active cases continues to remain high. In India too, figures from states like Maharashtra and Kerala, the PMO said, indicate there can be no room for complacency.

However, weekly positivity was at less than 3 percent for the 10th consecutive week, ANI reported.

The third wave of the pandemic is predicted to hit the population in September and October. On Thursday, India recorded 34,973 new COVID cases.

Meanwhile, the construction of nearly 1,600 oxygen-generation plants at hospitals has been approved by the Centre. However, fewer than 300 had been set up as of last month, NDTV reported.

Need for Genome Sequencing

Prime Minister Modi also spoke about the need for constant genome sequencing to monitor emergence of mutants. The officers informed him that INSACOG now consists of 28 labs distributed across the country, the network of which is also linked with a hospital network for clinical correlation.

The status of augmentation of bed capacity for pediatric care and augmentation of facilities under ‘COVID Emergency Response Package II’ was also reviewed, ANI reported.

Meanwhile, a government survey estimated that as many as two-thirds of the Indian population already have antibodies through natural infection, while around 57 percent of its adult population is vaccinated with the first vaccine dose, which leads health experts to believe that the third wave could be much less devastating than the second wave, a Reuters report said.

PM was also informed about the states being asked to maintain a buffer stock for drugs at the district level, used in management of COVID-19.

Kerala currently has the highest number of infections with over 26,000 new infections recorded on 9 September, which signals to a possible third wave. However, its fatality rate is well below the national figure.

(With inputs from NDTV, ANI and Reuters)

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