PM Modi apprises floor leaders about COVID-19 situation, says pandemic should not be a matter of politics
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with floor leaders of all parties of both houses of the Parliament to keep them informed of the trajectory of COVID-19 in India and the public health response to the pandemic.
The Prime Minister said that the pandemic should not be a matter of politics and is a matter of concern for the entire humanity.
He spoke about the need to stay vigilant looking at the situation in various countries.
Noting that mutations make the disease very unpredictable, he said "we all need to stay together and fight this disease".
He said it is a matter of concern that a significant number of healthcare workers and frontline workers are yet to get the vaccine even after six months since the drive commenced and added that states need to be more proactive towards this.
The Prime Minister also spoke about the efforts being made to ensure one oxygen plant in every district across the country.
He informed leaders about the rising speed of India's vaccination programme and how the first 10 crore doses took around 85 days while the last 10 crore doses have taken 24 days.
He also informed the leaders that the daily closing stocks show an average of more than 1.5 crore vaccines at the end of the day throughout the country.
PM Modi stressed the need to properly plan the vaccination drives at the district level based on the advance availability indicated by the Central Government to ensure no inconvenience is caused to the people.
He said that mankind hasn't seen such a pandemic in the last 100 years.
The Prime Minister also spoke about India's unique experience of using technology in the pandemic in the form of CoWin and Aarogya Setu apps.
He thanked all leaders for participating in the meeting and giving very practical inputs and suggestions and added that inputs from different parts of the country help immensely in policy design.
An official release said former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda lauded the Prime Minister for his constant monitoring and working tirelessly through the pandemic.
Leaders across parties thanked the Prime Minister for his efforts through the pandemic. They also spoke about their own unique experiences with the disease and highlighted the situation in various states.
They spoke about the vaccination drives in their respective states and the need to constantly ensure COVID-appropriate behaviour.
Leaders unanimously appreciated the presentation given to them for its rich information and insights.
A detailed presentation was given by Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.
He informed that as of date, only eight states have more than 10,000 cases with the majority of caseload in Maharashtra and Kerala.
Five states have a positivity rate more than 10 per cent.
It was informed that throughout the pandemic, the Prime Minister held 20 meetings with chief ministers while the Union Health Minister held 29 meetings with states.
The Union Cabinet Secretary briefed the State Chief Secretaries 34 times while 166 central teams were deployed to aid 33 states and UTs in COVID-19 management
The release said that India augmented its drug availability throughout the pandemic. C
DSCO permitted an increase in the number of Remdesivir manufacturing sites from 22 in March to 62 in June which increased the production capacity from 38 to 122 lakh vials per month.
The release said import of Liposomal Amphotericin was encouraged which saw the cumulative allocation rise from just 45,050 to 14.81 lakh.
While cases are declining at present, states have been advised to maintain buffer stocks of drugs to address any future surge in COVID cases with stress on minimum eight drugs identified by the Union Health Ministry - Enoxaparin, Methyl Prednisolone, Dexamethasone, Remdesivir, Tocilizumab (for COVID-19 treatment), Amphoterecin B Deoxycholate, Posaconazole(for COVID associated mucormycosis), Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) (for Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)IS-C).
The release said Union Health Ministry will facilitate procurement for northeastern states and UTs.
The members were also apprised of India's COVID-19 vaccination strategy.
The strategy aims to provide free vaccination to all adult Indians, safely, as fast as possible; to protect on priority healthcare workers and frontline workers; to protect those vulnerable population i.e. 45 years and above, who contribute to more than 80 per cent of COVID related mortality in the country.
The release said based on scientific and epidemiological evidence and global best practices, each phase of the exercise broad-based the vaccine coverage across new priority groups based on dynamic mapping to the production and availability of COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
The release said India has administered the most number of vaccine doses (41.2 crore) in comparison to US (33.8 crore), Brazil (12.4 crore), Germany (8.6 crore), UK (8.3 crore).
The release said that 12.3 crore (42 per cent) vaccine doses were administered in urban areas while 17.11 crore (58 per cent) in rural areas in the period May 1 to July 19.
In the same period, 21.75 crore males (53 per cent), 18.94 crore females (47 per cent) and 72,834 other-gendered persons also received the vaccine.
The release said that guiding principles of test, track, treat, vaccinate and COVID-appropriate behaviour were highlighted as the way forward in India's war with COVID-19.