Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to review the status of preparedness to handle the Covid-19 in view of rising cases and stressed that there is no substitute for testing, tracking and treatment.
He said that all necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for COVID patients.
He also asked the officials to make efforts to utilize the entire national capacity, in the public as well as the private sector, to ramp up vaccine production.
Chairing a meeting to review the status of preparedness to handle the COVID-19 situation, Modi said local administrations needed to be proactive and sensitive to people’s concerns.
“Together India had defeated COVID-19 last year and India can do it again, with the same principles but faster speed and coordination,” he said.
Directing officials to ensure close coordination with states, he said all necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for COVID patients and that additional supply of beds through temporary hospitals and isolation centres should be ensured.
He also spoke about a need to utilise the full potential of India’s pharmaceutical industry to meet the rising demand of various medicines and reviewed the status of the supply of Remdesivir and other medicines.
On the issue of vaccination, the prime minister directed all officials to make efforts to utilize the entire national capacity, in the public as well as the private sector, to ramp up vaccine production.
Later in a tweet, Modi said, “Reviewed preparedness to handle the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Aspects relating to medicines, oxygen, ventilators and vaccination were discussed. Like we did last year, we will successfully fight COVID with even greater speed and coordination.”
The meeting came in the midst of a huge surge in COVID-19 cases across the country with reports pouring in from many states about the shortage of hospital facilities and essentials like oxygen supply.
A record single-day rise of 2,34,692 cases and 1,341 fatalities have pushed India’s COVID-19 tally to 1,45,26,609 and the death toll due to the viral disease to 1,75,649, the health ministry said earlier on Saturday.
The number of active coronavirus cases in the country has also surpassed the 16-lakh mark, the ministry’s data updated at 8 am showed.
PM Modi said that the use of Remdesivir and other medicines must be in accordance with approved medical guidelines and that their misuse and black marketing must be strictly curbed.
The Prime Minister also said that the supply of oxygen required for the production of medicines and equipment necessary to handle the pandemic should also be ensured.
He also reviewed the status of the availability and supply of ventilators.
He noted that a real-time monitoring system has been created, and directed that concerned state governments should be sensitized to use the system proactively.
The Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Union Home Secretary and Union Health Secretary were among those who joined the meeting.
Niti Aayog member Dr V K Paul was also present.