PM Modi at Covid review meet: Keep focus on test and trace, let’s not jump the gun on vaccines

EMPHASISING THAT vaccination is a long-term and steady technique within the battle in opposition to the pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday directed all states to right away concentrate on aggressive testing and micro-containment to interrupt the chain of transmission of the second Covid wave.

The Prime Minister additionally appealed to states to realize 100 per cent vaccination of the 45-plus inhabitants in high-focus districts and known as for a “vaccination utsav” between the delivery anniversaries of icons Jyotiba Phule (April 11) and B R Ambedkar (April 14).

“What we have done is that we jumped to vaccination (as a strategy) and have forgotten testing. As the vaccines are being produced, they will be delivered…earlier, we won the fight without the vaccine. We won the fight when we didn’t even know if there would be vaccines. Today, we don’t need to create a panic in the public,” the Prime Minister stated throughout his on-line interplay with Chief Ministers.

“From Day 1, I am seeing politics. I don’t open my mouth. I believe we have to serve the citizens. We have been given the responsibility. Those who are doing politics will do it. I will not comment. However, all of us should come forward to change the situation. We have to follow ‘dawai bhi-kadai bhi’ (cure and caution)… We have to focus on testing… Vaccination is a long-term and continuous process,” Modi stated.

The assembly came about amid a heated face-off between the Centre and non-BJP-ruled states over the provision of vaccine doses. On Wednesday, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan singled out largely non-BJP-ruled states, particularly Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, and accused them of “politicising” a public well being challenge and “spreading lies”, and never doing sufficient when it comes to testing, contact tracing and ramping up infrastructure.

During Thursday’s assembly, sources instructed The Indian Express, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray sought Modi’s intervention in “restraining” political events from making the pandemic a political software to focus on state governments.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh requested the Centre to assessment its coverage so that each one adults get vaccinated “as early as possible” whereas stating that the surge in India is principally because of the UK variant and the youth have been hit onerous.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel requested the Centre to offer satisfactory provides of Remdesivir and oxygen cylinders, arrange 4 virology labs, a 1,000-bed ICU infrastructure and ramp up vaccine provide. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had accused the Centre of not offering sufficient vaccine doses for her state which is in the course of an election, didn’t attend the assembly.

The Prime Minister, in the meantime, reiterated the vaccination technique based mostly on prioritisation of susceptible populations. “In a single day, we have achieved vaccinating 40 lakh persons…The most resourceful countries also have set criteria for vaccination. We are not different from them. We are working towards achieving maximum manufacturing capacity. We have discussed vaccine development, vaccine stock, and wastage. You know about the quantity of vaccines that is manufactured; these factories are not established overnight. Whatever is available to us, we have to prioritise,” Modi stated.

The Prime Minister additionally harassed that doses are being equipped whereas conserving all states in thoughts. “To keep all the stock in one particular state is not the right thinking. We have to keep the entire country in mind and manage it. Also, an important aspect of Covid-19 management is vaccine wastage…it is my request to states to attempt 100 percent coverage of everyone above the age 45 years in the high focus districts,” he stated.

It was on this context that the Prime Minister instructed a “vaccination utsav”. “We should run a special drive to vaccinate the maximum eligible beneficiaries and achieve zero wastage. If required, we can also increase the vaccination centres. I have also told the Centre to send as many doses as it is possible,” he stated.

On calls for for the youth to be vaccinated, Modi stated: “…we want to strengthen the youth through vaccination, however, we should encourage them to follow protocols.”

According to sources, Thackeray stated on the assembly that the state has been following all of the directives and directions given by the Central Government on containing the pandemic. “Despite this, some political parties are now contemplating on launching an agitation against the state government,” Thackeray stated, with out naming any celebration though the BJP in Maharashtra has been extremely vital of state authorities’s dealing with of the pandemic.

He additionally requested the Prime Minister to intervene and “ask them to behave”, sources stated. “Thackeray said the Prime Minister should restrain the parties. In his reply, the Prime Minister also said he has also faced baseless criticism for the handling of the situation despite the effective measures introduced by the Centre,” sources stated.

During the assembly, Modi instructed the states to concentrate on testing. “We have to bring down the positivity rate under 5 per cent and our target is to achieve 70 per cent RT PCR testing… We have to focus on aggressive testing in containment zones. Not a single person should be left out of testing in these zones,” he stated, including that the “perimeter of containment zones should be well defined” not “vague”.

The Prime Minister additionally instructed the states to compile knowledge on mortality to “know at what stage the patients are getting hospitalised” and instructed that the states ought to maintain webinars with all elected representatives to implement actionable plans.

On Thursday, in the meantime, a day after Harsh Vardhan’s remarks, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope alleged bias and claimed that his state has obtained a disproportionate variety of doses in comparison with BJP-ruled states.

Harsh Vardhan posted on Twitter earlier than the Prime Minister’s assembly: “Let’s put an end to fear mongering now! #COVID19Vaccine doses: Total administered: 9 cr+; In stock/nearing delivery to states: 4.3 cr+. Where does question of shortages arise? We’re continuously monitoring & enhancing supply.”

The Health Minister tweeted: “Hue & cry by certain States about partisanship by the Union Govt is just a farce, an attempt to hide their own incompetence. Maharashtra and Rajasthan are 2 of the top 3 States based on allocation of #COVID19Vaccine doses. Both are non-BJP governed States.”

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