Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on Thursday to assess the COVID-19 situation in the country, preparedness of health infrastructure and emergence of variants and their public health implications and cautioned against complacency.
Advising strict vigil, he said COVID is not over yet and directed officials to strengthen the ongoing surveillance measures, especially at the international airports.
This high-level review meeting was held in the backdrop of spike in COVID-19 cases in some countries.
Apart from preparedness of health infrastructure and logistics, the Prime Minister also assessed the status of the vaccination campaign in the country.
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 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 per cent in the week ending December 22, 2022.
However, 5.9 lakh daily average cases have been reported globally since the last six weeks.
"PM cautioned against complacency and advised strict vigil. He reiterated that COVID is not over yet and directed officials to strengthen the ongoing surveillance measures, especially at international airports," a PMO release said.
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.
He advised states to audit COVID-specific facilities to ensure the operational readiness of hospital infrastructure, including oxygen cylinders, PSA plants, ventilators and human resources.
PM Modi directed officials to ramp up testing and also genomic sequencing efforts. States have been asked to share a larger number of samples with the designated INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (lGSLs) for genome sequencing on a daily basis.
This will support timely detection of newer variants, if any, circulating in the country and facilitate undertaking requisite public health measures, the release said.
The 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.
PM Modi also urged that precautionary dose may be encouraged especially for vulnerable and elderly groups.
The Prime Minister was informed that there is adequate availability with regard to medicines, vaccines and hospital beds.
He advised that availability and prices of essential medicines should be regularly monitored.
Highlighting the globally-appreciated work of the frontline healthcare workers, Prime Minister exhorted them to continue working in the same selfless and dedicated manner.
The meeting was attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur and Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar.
Principal Secretary to PM PK Mishra, NITI Aayog CEO Parameswaran Iyer, Member (Health) NITI Aayog Dr VK Paul, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, PMO Advisor Amit Khare, Home Secretary AK Bhalla, Secretary (HFW) Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary (DHR) Dr Rajiv Bahl were among senior officials who attended the meeting.
(with inputs from ANI)