PM Modi chairs meeting on COVID-19 situation with chief ministers of high burden states

New Delhi [India], April 23 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired high-level meeting on COVID-19 situation with chief ministers of 11 states and union territories which have reported maximum number of cases recently.
Noting that the virus is affecting several states as well as Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities at once, PM Modi called for working together to fight the pandemic with collective power. He said the biggest basis of India’s success during the first wave of the pandemic was “our united efforts and united strategy and reiterated that we will have to address this challenge in the same way”. PM Modi assured Centre’s full support to all the states in this fight. He said the Health Ministry is also in touch with the states and is monitoring the situation closely and issuing necessary advice from time to time.
On oxygen supply, PM Modi took note of the points raised by the states. He said there is a continuous effort to increase oxygen supply. All the concerned departments and ministries of the government are also working together. Industrial oxygen has also been diverted to meet immediate requirements.
According to a PMO release, PM Modi urged all states to work together and coordinate with one-another to fulfil requirements relating to medicines and oxygen. He urged the states to check hoarding and black marketing of oxygen and medicines.
He said that every state should ensure that no oxygen tanker, whether it is meant for any state, is stopped or gets stranded.
The Prime Minister urged the states to set up a high-level co-ordination committee to carry oxygen to different hospitals of the state. This coordination committee should ensure that as soon as there is allotment of oxygen from the Centre, it can deliver oxygen as per requirement in different hospitals of the state immediately.
He said the central government is working on all possible options to reduce the travel time and turnaround time of oxygen tankers. For this, Railways has started Oxygen Express. Empty oxygen tankers are also being transported by the Air Force to reduce one way travel time.
The Prime Minister said that along with upgrading resources, there is need to focus on testing. He emphasized that widespread testing should be conducted so that people get the facility easily.
He said that the vaccination programme should not slow down in this situation. Noting that India is running the world’s largest vaccination programme and so far, more than 15 crore vaccine doses have been provided free of cost to the states by the Centre, he said the vaccine is going to be available to all citizens above 18 years of age from May 1.
The campaign launched by the central government to provide free vaccine to all citizens above 45 years as well has healthcare workers and frontline workers, will also continue in the same manner.
“We will also need to work in mission mode to get more and more people vaccinated,” he said.
PM Modi said along with all measures for treatment of the patients, hospital safety is also very important. Expressing grief on recent incidents of oxygen leakage and fire at hospitals, he said the administrative staff of the hospital needs to be made more aware about the safety protocols.
He urged the administration to continuously make people aware so that they do not indulge in panic buying. “With united efforts, we will be able to stop this second wave of the pandemic across the country,” he said.
The release said that a presentation was given by Dr VK Paul, Member, Niti Aayog, which highlighted the preparations being done to counter the new surge of infections. Dr Paul also presented the roadmap for increasing the medical facilities and targeted treatment of patients.
During the interaction, the chief ministers briefed the Prime Minister about the steps being taken by respective state governments in the current wave of pandemic. They also noted that the directions given by the Prime Minister and the road map presented by Niti Aayog, would help them plan their responses in a better way.

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