Chairing a high-level meeting to review the status and preparedness of Covid-19 response, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday said the government was keeping a close watch on the development of Covid-19 vaccines and assured that the vaccine for citizens will meet all necessary scientific criteria.

In his interaction with the chief ministers of states that are witnessing a surge in the novel coronavirus cases, the Prime Minister asked them to work towards bringing down the positivity rate to nearly 5 per cent and the fatality rate to under 1 per cent and called for more RT-PCR tests. “We need to speed up our efforts to reduce transmission of the virus. Testing, confirmation, contact tracing and data must be given top priority,” he said, cautioning the states and union territories against any laxity in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

The cumulative national COVID-19 positivity rate stands at 6.87 per cent as on date, while the daily positivity rate is 3.45 per cent, as per the health ministry data.

PM Modi urged them to send a detailed plan on how they plan to take the vaccine to lowest levels. “I urge states to send detailed plans soon on how they plan to take the vaccine to lowest levels. It will help us in making decisions as your experiences are valuable. I hope for your pro-active participation. Vaccine work is ongoing but I request you there should be no carelessness,” he said.

The Prime Minister underlined that just like the focus in the fight against Covid has been on saving each and every life, the priority would be to ensure that the vaccine reaches everyone. The modalities of Covid-19 vaccine delivery, distribution and administration were crucially discussed during the meeting.

The first was of fear, when people reacted in panic, while 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, while in the fourth stage, with increasing recovery rate, people developed a false notion of security from the virus, thus leading to rise in instances of negligence, Modi said.

Modi has held several rounds of virtual meetings with states over the coronavirus situation so far. While the national daily COVID-19 case count has remained below 50,000 for some time, several urban centres have witnessed a surge, resulting in enforcement of several measures, including curfews in some cities.

India saw 37,975 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day taking the country’s COVID-19 caseload to 91.77 lakh, while the recoveries crossed 86 lakh, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday.

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