PM asks states to keep Covid-19 situation under control until vaccine is available

​​​He first focussed his meeting with CMs of eight states - Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Kerala, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh – which are showing a sharp resurgence.

Covid fightback: PM Modi holds review meeting with CMs of 8 states amid rapid surge in number of cases
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday assured Chief Ministers of a smooth, systematic and sustained vaccination drive against Covid-19 and said both safety and speed in the roll-out was important. But he added that till a vaccine is available, efforts must be made to ensure that the coronavirus situation is kept under control here and not allowed to worsen.

“We must ensure that the Covid situation does not worsen and no fresh trouble arises. We have come out of the deep ocean of the pandemic and are about to reach the shore but it should not be the case, as per the old saying, that our boat drowned where the water was less. We cannot allow that situation to come. Many countries are seeing a sharp resurgence in the number of cases and that trend is visible in some of our states too,” the PM told the Chief Ministers.

He first focussed his meeting with CMs of eight states - Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Kerala, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh – which are showing a sharp resurgence. The PM said people had become careless and dropped their guard thinking the virus had weakened and that had contributed to the resurgence in cases in some states.


Officials said the CMs were briefed on a broad distribution framework as per WHO standards of the stage-wise distribution of the Coronavirus vaccine once it is available, with priority being given to health-workers, the aged and those with co-morbidities. The PM however told the CM’s that the final priority criteria would be drawn up in consultation with the CMs. Many CMs asked the PM about when a vaccine would be available and the cost of the same. “Right now, we do not know whether there will be one or two or three doses of the vaccine or the price. We do not have answers to these questions,” the PM said. He asked CMs to prepare for having more cold storages to store the vaccine once it becomes ready for distribution.

The PM reassured that the government is keeping a close watch on the development of vaccines and is in contact with Indian developers and manufacturers, along with global regulators, governments of other countries, multilateral institutions and international companies. “It will be ensured that the vaccine for citizens will meet all necessary scientific criteria. Just like the focus in the fight against COVID has been on saving each and every life, the priority will be to ensure that the vaccine reaches everyone. Both speed and safety is important,” the PM said. He added that India had the best experience in vaccination drives.

The PM said the proportion of RT-PCR testing must be increased and better monitoring must be done of Covid patients in home isolation so that their condition does not worsen. He said each state should strike to bring the test positivity rate below 5% and the fatality rate below 1%/ and also sharpen the awareness campaign. “It is important to understand how the people have reacted to the pandemic and it can be broken down to four stages. The first was of fear, when people reacted in panic. The second stage saw cropping up of doubts about the virus, when several people tried to hide that they had been afflicted by it. The third stage was of acceptance, when people became more serious about the virus and displayed greater alertness. In the fourth stage, with increasing recovery rate, people have developed a false notion of security from the virus, thus leading to rise in instances of negligence,” PM said.
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He emphasized that it is of utmost importance to increase awareness about the seriousness of the virus in this fourth stage. The PM also remarked to the CMs that some people were trying to play politics over the vaccine and he cannot stop them from playing politics. This seemed in response to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday posing questions to the government on which vaccine would be selected for dosage in India and what will be the cost of the same.

The Chief Ministers gave an overview of the rise in number of cases, discussed issues like post-COVID complications, measures taken to increase testing, steps initiated like testing being done at State borders, going from home to home to conduct tests, curbs being put to reduce size of public gatherings, imposition of curfews and other crowd restrictive measures, awareness campaigns being run and steps taken to increase usage of masks, as per a PMO statement. They also discussed and gave suggestions about the vaccination drive. Dr. VK Paul, Member, NITI Ayog, gave a presentation on delivery, distribution and administration of the vaccine at the meeting.
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