Modi cracks the whip amidst Omicron scare


The PM directed the officials to ensure that the health systems in the states, beginning from the district level, are strengthened to meet any challenge posed by the new variant…reports Asian Lite News.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, chairing a high-level meeting on Thursday to review the public health response measures for containing and managing Covid-19 and strengthening health infrastructure including availability of drugs and oxygen cylinders amid the growing Omicron scare, called for prompt and effective contact tracing, ramping up of testing, and accelerating vaccination.

He was briefed about the emerging scenario globally driven by the new variant, with an overview of surge in cases in countries having high vaccination coverage and presence of Omicron variant. He was also apprised of the technical brief and priority actions recommended by the WHO in the context.

A snapshot of the status of Covid-19 and its Omicron variant in the country, including states reporting a higher number of cases, districts reporting higher positivity, and higher number of clusters was presented to him. He was also briefed about the actions taken when the first advisory of the Health Ministry was shared with the states.

The PM directed the officials to maintain a high level of vigil and alertness at all levels. He directed the Centre to work in close coordination with the states to support their efforts of public health measures of containment and management under the ‘Whole of Government’ approach.

“The strategy of the Centre for proactive, focussed, collaborative and cooperative fight against the pandemic should guide all our future actions,” he said.

“In view of the new variant, we should be ‘satark’ (alert) and ‘saavdhan’ (cautious). The fight against the pandemic is not over and the need for continued adherence to Covid safe behaviour is of paramount importance even today,” he stressed.

The PM directed the officials to ensure that the health systems in the states, beginning from the district level, are strengthened to meet any challenge posed by the new variant. It is important for states to ensure that the oxygen supply equipments are installed and fully functional, he said.

He also told the officials to work with the states on a regular basis and review the status of preparedness of various components of health infrastructure including training and capacity building of human resources, timely availability of ambulances, readiness of states to operationalise Covid facilities for institutional quarantining, and effective and supervised monitoring of those in home isolation.

Heightened and close monitoring of emerging clusters and hotspots through and active, prompt and effective surveillance should continue, he stated. He directed for sending a good number of positive samples for genome sequencing to INSACOG labs in a prompt manner, while accelerating the testing to ensure quick identification of cases for timely containment and treatment.

The PM said that teams should be sent to the states with low vaccination, rising cases, and insufficient health infrastructure to assist them improve the situation.

Apprised that more than 88 per cent of the eligible population is administered the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine and more than 60 per cent the second dose, he said that states need to ensure that the eligible population is fully vaccinated and to proceed to meet the target in a saturation mode.

India reports 6,650 new Covid cases

India registered 6,650 new Covid cases and 374 deaths in 24 hours, said the Union Ministry of Health and Family welfare on Friday morning. The tally of Omicron cases in the country rose to 358.

With the addition of the new deaths, the toll has climbed to 4,79,133.

The Omicron infection tally has climbed to 358 across the nation. However, out of total Omicron positive, 114 have been discharged. So far 17 states have reported Omicron infection, said the Union health ministry.

The recovery of 7,051 patients in the last 24 hours has increased the cumulative tally to 3,42,15,977. Consequently, India’s recovery rate stands at 98.40 per cent, highest since March 2020.

India’s active caseload is presently at 77,516. Active cases constitute 0.22 per cent of the country’s total positive cases, which is the lowest since March 2020.

Also in the same period, a total of 11,65,887 tests were conducted across the country. India has so far conducted over 66.98 crore cumulative tests.

Meanwhile, the weekly positivity rate at 0.59 per cent has remained less than 1 per cent for the last 40 days now.

The daily positivity rate stands at 0.57 per cent, which has also remained below 2 per cent for the last 81 days and less than 3 per cent for 116 consecutive days now.

With the administration of 57,44,652 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s Covid inoculation coverage has reached 140.31 crore as of Friday morning.

More than 17.97 crore balance and unutilised Covid vaccine doses are still available with the states and union territories to be administered, according to the health ministry as of Friday morning.

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