New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level virtual meeting yesterday to review the COVID-19 situation in the country.

Ongoing preparedness of health infrastructure and logistics, status of the vaccination campaign and emergence of new Covid-19 variant Omicron and its public health implications for the country were also reviewed.

The Prime Minister conveyed his gratitude for the relentless services provided by healthcare workers in managing Covid-19 and  suggested to ensure that vaccination coverage through precaution dose for healthcare workers, front line workers should also be taken up in mission mode. Mr. Modi, stressed on the need to ensure adequate health infrastructure at the district level.

The Prime Minister directed that intensive containment and active surveillance should continue in clusters reporting higher cases and required technical support be provided to states which are reporting higher cases presently.

He highlighted the need to ensure effective usage of masks and physical distancing measures as a new normal to control the spread. Mr Modi further exhorted the need for effective implementation of Home Isolation for mild or asymptomatic cases and to disseminate the factual information to the community at large.

The Prime Minister said that a meeting with Chief Ministers be convened to discuss state-specific scenarios, best-practices and the public health response.

He further highlighted the need to ensure continuity of non-Covid health services while managing Covid cases presently.

The Prime Minister also spoke about the importance for continuous scientific research in testing , vaccines and pharmacological interventions including genome sequencing given that the virus is evolving continuously.

In the meeting, a detailed presentation highlighting the surge in cases currently being reported globally was given by Health Secretary. It was followed by the status of COVID-19 in India highlighting various States and Districts of concern, based on the surge in cases and high positivity being reported.

The support to the States to upgrade health infrastructure, testing capacity, availability of oxygen and ICU beds and buffer stock of covid essential drugs under Emergency Covid Response Package ECRP-II was presented.

The presentation brought attention to India’s consistent efforts towards the vaccination campaign, with 31 per cent adolescents aged 15-18 years having been administered with the 1st dose so far within Seven days.  

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Health Dr Bharti Pravin Pawar, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Dr P K  Mishra, Member (Health) in NITI Aayog Dr V K Paul, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Bansal and Chairman and CEO Railway Board Vinay Kumar Tripathy participated in the meeting among others.     

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