Covid not over yet: PM cautions against complacency

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday reiterated that Covid is not over yet and directed officials to strengthen the ongoing surveillance measures, especially at the international airports.

Chairing a high-level meeting to assess the Covid-19 situation in the country including preparedness of health infrastructure and logistics, the Prime Minister cautioned against complacency and advised strict vigil.

“Chaired a meeting to review the public health response to COVID-19. Stressed on ramping up testing, genome sequencing and to ensure ensure operational readiness of COVID infrastructure. Also emphasised on the need to follow COVID appropriate behaviour,” he said in a tweet.

This high level review meeting came in the backdrop of spike in Covid-19 cases in some countries. The meeting also focussed on assessing the status of the vaccination campaign and the emergence of new Covid-19 variants and their public health implications for the country.

The Prime Minister stressed the need to ensure that the entire Covid infrastructure at all levels is maintained at a high level of preparedness in terms of equipment, processes and human resources.

The Prime Minister advised States to audit Covid specific facilities to ensure operational readiness of Hospital Infrastructure, including Oxygen Cylinders, PSA plants, ventilators and human resources, the PMO said.

Modi directed officials to ramp up testing and also genomic sequencing efforts.

States have also been asked to share a larger number of samples with the designated INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (lGSLs) for Genome Sequencing on a daily basis, which will support timely detection of newer variants, if any, and facilitate undertaking requisite public health measures.

Prime Minister urged everyone to follow Covid appropriate behaviour at all times, especially in view of the upcoming festive season, including wearing masks in crowded public places.

He also urged that that precaution dose may be encouraged especially for vulnerable and elderly groups.

Officials informed Prime Minister that there is adequate availability with regard to medicines, vaccines and hospital beds.

He advised regular monitoring of availability and prices of essential medicines.

Highlighting the globally appreciated work of the frontline healthcare workers, Prime Minister exhorted them to continue working in the same manner.

During the meeting, a comprehensive presentation was made regarding the global Covid-19 situation including the rising cases in countries by Secretary, Health and Member, NITI Aayog, the PMO said.

Prime Minister was briefed that India has been witnessing a steady decline in cases with average daily cases falling to 153 and weekly positivity down to 0.14% in the week ending December 22, 2022.

However, 5.9 lakh daily average cases have been reported globally since the last 6 weeks.

The meeting was attended by Home Minister Amit Shah, Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, External Affairs Dr S. Jaishankar, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur and senior officials from PMO, other relevant ministries and NITI Aayog.

UNI

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