Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired a high-level meeting to review the COVID-19 related situation in the country and the vaccination drive to battle the pandemic, government sources have said. The session comes amid talk of a potential third wave sweeping the country in September and October.
The topics covered in today’s meeting included a review of the prevailing COVID-19 scenario, preparedness of the health systems to respond, availability of medical oxygen, and matters relating to production, supply, and distribution of vaccines, according to a Press Information Bureau release.
The Prime Minister was briefed about the augmentation of the healthcare infrastructure in the country, sources in the government said. He reviewed the production, supply, and the pipeline of vaccine manufacturing over the next few months, according to them.
“The Prime Minister said entire ecosystem needs to be rapidly augmented to ensure increased oxygen availability, including concentrators, cylinders, and PSA plants,” sources said.
He said that around one lakh oxygen concentrators and three lakh oxygen cylinders have been distributed among the states.
“He spoke about the need for constant genome sequencing to monitor emergence of mutants,” sources told NDTV.
In the past few months, India has added many more hospital beds and imported over 100 oxygen carriers to raise the total to about 1,250, according to a Reuters report. The Centre has approved the construction of nearly 1,600 oxygen-generation plants at hospitals, though fewer than 300 had been set up as of early last month as imports take time.
Efforts are also on to install 961 liquid medical oxygen storage tanks and 1,450 medical gas pipeline systems to support at least one such unit per district, the PIB release said.
Almost all states are readying special paediatric wards as some experts warn unvaccinated children could be vulnerable to any new virus mutations, the news agency reported.
“On vaccines, the Prime Minister was apprised that around 58 per cent of India’s adult population has received the first dose and around 18 per cent of India’s adult population has received the second dose. He was updated about the vaccine pipeline and increased supply of vaccines,” the release said.
India recorded 34,973 fresh coronavirus cases yesterday, 19 per cent lower than the previous day. The country’s active caseload accounts for 1.18 per cent of the total cases at 3,31,74,954.
It was discussed in today’s meeting that across the world, there are countries where the number of active Covid cases remain high. In India too, the figures from states like Maharashtra and Kerala, indicate that there can be no room for complacency, the PIB release said. However, the weekly positivity was at less than 3% for the 10th consecutive week.
“The Prime Minister spoke about the need to ensure adequate testing across the country. Officers informed him about the support being given to 433 districts to establish RT-PCR lab facility in public health facilities,” the release said.