PM Modi Reviews COVID-19 Situation, Vaccination Drive

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday held a review meeting on the COVID-19 situation and vaccination drive in the country. Government sources said top officials from different ministries attended the meeting.

Modi has been holding regular review meetings on the pandemic situation and taking measures as he spearheads the drive to curb the second wave of a surge in infections.

India recorded 3,26,098 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours that took the tally to 2,43,72,907, while 3,890 new fatalities pushed the death toll to 2,66,207, according to Union health ministry data updated on Saturday.

Shortage of medical oxygen, which has been linked to deaths of patients in several parts of the country, has emerged as one of the biggest challenge. Desperate pleas for hospital beds and medicines have been flooding social media.

While experts have said the country has to focus on stepping up vaccination drive, many states have been a red-flagging shortage of doses. On Thursday, the government said about 200 crore Covid shots are expected to be available by end of this year.

“So far, around 18 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been given. Government hospitals are giving free shots across the country. So please do get the vaccine when it is your turn,” the Prime Minister urged on Friday.

Earlier this week, 12 major opposition parties wrote to him, demanding that the center take immediate action to tackle the second wave. The distribution of free vaccines, a stop to the work on the Central Vista project, and a repeal of farm laws were among a series of measures suggested in the letter.

“We have repeatedly in the past drawn your attention, independently and jointly, to the various measures that are absolutely imperative for the Central government to undertake and implement. Unfortunately, your government has either ignored or refused all these suggestions. This only compounded the situation to reach such an apocalyptic human tragedy,” the letter read.

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