Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday reviewed the present Covid-19 situation of the country and directed that central teams need to visit Maharashtra, Punjab and Chhattisgarh in view of the ongoing surge in the number of new infections and deaths. The Central teams will comprise health specialists and clinicians, government sources said.
A special campaign for Covid-appropriate behaviour with an emphasis on 100 per cent mask usage, personal hygiene and sanitation at public places /workplaces and health facilities will be organized from April 6 to April 14, it has been decided in the meeting.
The high-level meeting comes on a day when India reported 93,249 daily infections in the last 24 hours, inching closer to its highest ever spike of 98,000 cases. As several states are again opting for stricter restrictions to contain the spread of the infection, it was emphasized in Sunday’s meeting that there have been primarily three reasons behind the surge: severe decline in adhering to Covid-19 appropriate behaviour, pandemic fatigue and lack of containment measures.
The 5-fold strategy of testing, tracing, treatment, Covid appropriate behaviour and vaccination, if properly implemented, would be the most effective, it was discussed in the meeting, attended by the principal secretary to PM, cabinet secretary, home secretary, chairperson (Empowered group on Vaccine Administration), health secretary, DG ICMR among others.
Here is PM’s 10-point guideline to address the Covid-19 situation
> People’s participation, community involvement is of paramount importance in India’s fight against the pandemic.
> Testing, tracing, treatment, Covid-appropriate behaviour and vaccination — only this 5-point formula can curb the spread.
> To spread awareness about Covid- appropriate behaviour, a special campaign will be organized from April 6 to April 14.
> Healthcare facilities need to be ramped up.
> Availability of oxygen, ventilators should be ensured to those who are under home care.
> Mortalities have to be avoided under all circumstances.
> Central team will visit Maharashtra, Punjab and Chhattisgarh to look into the situation.
> All states need to impose restrictions in places where cases are high.
> Community volunteers can be involved in tracing active cases and in the management of containment zones.
> States and districts must continue working in mission mode.
The situation of Maharashtra, Punjab and Chhattisgarh is the most precarious, experts in the meeting pointed out. Maharashtra has contributed 57 per cent of total cases in the country in the last 14 days and 47 per cent of deaths in the country during the same period, while the state is seeing its worst daily rise of infections. Punjab’s contribution to the total number of cases remains only 4.5 per cent, but its addition of 16.3 per cent to the death toll is worrying, experts discussed. Like Punjab, Chhattisgarh too is contributing more to the daily death toll, the experts noted as a threadbare discussion on where each state and Union territory is standing was held.