‘Ensure district-level health infrastructure, vaccine drives for adolescents, tele-medicine for remote areas’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while reviewing the measures being taken to counter the steep surge in COVID-19 infections, on Sunday stressed the importance of non-stop scientific research in testing, vaccines and pharmacological interventions, including genome sequencing, given that the coronavirus is evolving continuously.
At the meeting, Mr. Modi directed officials to ensure adequate health infrastructure at the district level; further accelerate the vaccine drive for adolescents; and leverage tele-medicine platforms to make health-related guidance available to people in remote and rural areas.
“A meeting with Chief Ministers [should] be convened to discuss State-specific scenarios, best practices, and the public health response,” he said at the meeting during which the Health Secretary gave a presentation on the surge in cases being reported globally. The current status of COVID-19 in the country was highlighted. Various predictive scenarios of peak cases were also presented at the meeting.
The Prime Minister was apprised of the steps being taken to support the States for an upgrade of health infrastructure, testing capacity, availability of oxygen and ICU beds, and buffer stock of COVID-19 essential drugs under the emergency COVID-19 response package. “The presentation brought attention to India’s consistent efforts towards the vaccination campaign, with 31% adolescents aged 15-18 years having been administered with the 1st dose so far within seven days,” a press release said.
The Prime Minister directed that intensive containment and active surveillance should continue in clusters reporting higher cases and the required technical support be provided to the States concerned. “While conveying his gratitude for the relentless services provided by healthcare workers in managing COVID-19 so far, he suggested to ensure that the vaccination coverage through precaution dose for healthcare workers and frontline workers should also be taken up in mission mode,” the statement said.
Among those who attended the meeting were Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar, NITI Aayog Member (Health) V. K. Paul, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Home Secretary A. K. Bhalla, and Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.