Agreeing that India was in the throes of a serious public health crisis that had passed the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday urged state governments to test more, even if it meant increased notification of infection. With experience managing the first wave, better health infrastructure and a locally made vaccine, lockdowns should be avoided, the prime minister told chief ministers at the virtual meeting on Covid.
“In the last phase of the infection, we had to impose locks because at the time, we did not have the infrastructure to control the infection: no PPE suits, not enough disinfectants, masks… we no longer face these shortages. Micro-containment zones should therefore be the strategy, ”he said.
Sounding a warning, the prime minister called on states to control the increase in war-torn cases, while stressing that efforts must be stepped up in the next three to four weeks. “This time people are getting relaxed. The administration is tired and lax… we cannot afford it. The fight against this wave must be done on a war footing, ”he declared.
The prime minister did not directly address the complaint from several states that they were in dire need of vaccines. Instead, he urged young people to go out and spread awareness about immunization, especially among vulnerable groups. Announcing the ‘teeka utsav’ (vaccination festival) from April 11-14, the prime minister also called on state governments to involve governors and all levels of elected officials to motivate people to follow appropriate behavior of Covid.
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Referring to the first wave of Covid, he said the war was won when there was no vaccine. Calling vaccination a long-term exercise, he reiterated the importance of testing with other Covid protocols such as masking and social distancing.
His comments on “ teeka utsav ”, which will begin with Jyotirao Phule’s birthday and end with Babasaheb Ambedkar’s, prompted Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (among the top ministers to have a less than cordial relationship with the Lieutenant Governor) to laugh and shake their heads. .
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who came close to failing to become an MP in the six-month mandate for the new assembly to be formed due to obstacles placed by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, is unlikely to accept the Prime Minister’s suggestion.
He called on states to strengthen governance and streamline testing and vaccination while focusing on micro-containment zones. “Those who want to play politics will do politics,” he said as feuds between the Center and many states escalated over the vaccine shortage. Several states demanded more autonomy in the vaccine delivery strategy while others said they simply did not have enough stocks.
Health Minister Harvardhan said there was no shortage and accused states of mismanaging even existing stocks: Punjab, Maharashtra and Delhi had been unable to even cross. what the bar of 50% vaccination of the elderly as part of the very first phase of isolation of the most vulnerable. of infection. However, Odisha said she was forced to close 700 vaccination centers because she did not have the supplies; Telangana said he was well below the inoculation doses; and Maharashtra elevated the issue to a political one with Health Minister Rajesh Tope asking why the Center is discriminating against Maharashtra.
Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, UP and Kerala together account for 74.13% of the total active cases in India. Two Chief Minister – Mamata Banerji (West Bengal) because she was busy with the elections; and Pinarayi Viajayan (Kerala) who tested positive for Covid on Thursday – did not attend the meeting.
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Jharkhand Health Minister Banna Gupta said: “About 18.27,800 vaccines were given in the first dose, 2.78,000 vaccines in the second dose. We spoke to the Union Minister of Health and asked him to immediately provide us with around 10 lakh (1 million) of vaccines. for the first dose. We will get it today or tomorrow (April 9). About 83 lakh (8.3 million) people are due to receive the first and second doses of the vaccine. This means that we will need around 1.60 crore (16 million) doses. We have vaccines available with us, but there has been a shortage in some places. So we spoke to the Union Minister of Health. We have stocks for the next one to two days. We have made a request to the Minister of the Interior of the Union and I hope that he will provide us with the vaccine. “
The Prime Minister’s response to suggestions from several chief ministers – Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, Uddhav Thackeray and Arvind Kejriwal – to allow all people over 18 to be vaccinated – was to conclude first the current cycle.
The Prime Minister called on state governments to carefully collect mortality data, as this would make an important contribution to the granular analysis of the spread of infection and help prevent it. But he added that testing was the key. “To contain the virus, we have to contain the human host,” he said. The target must be 70% of the population to be subjected to the RT PCR test. If the number of infections seemed high, it was a sign of ownership of the problem, and not a function of state government performance, he said.
But the prime minister said the most important part of beating the infection is making sure people don’t let their guard down, especially if they have asymptomatic indications.
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