Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday chaired a meeting to review the status of preparedness to handle the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Various aspects relating to medicines, oxygen, ventilators and vaccination were discussed.
The PM stressed that there is no substitute to testing, tracking and treatment. Early testing and proper tracking remain key to reduce mortality. He also said that local administrations need to be proactive and sensitive to people’s concerns.
These remarks assume significance in the backdrop of reports of COVID-19 patients and their families accusing the authorities in several states of apathy in providing treatment.
"Together India had defeated COVID-19 last year and India can do it again, with the same principles but faster speed and coordination," he said.
Directing officials to ensure close coordination with states, he said all necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for COVID patients and that additional supply of beds through temporary hospitals and isolation centres should be ensured.
PM spoke about the need to utilize the full potential of India’s pharmaceutical industry to meet the rising demand for various medicines. He reviewed the status of supply of Remdesivir and other medicines.
The Prime Minister directed that the use of Remdesivir and other medicines must be in accordance with approved medical guidelines and that their misuse and black marketing must be strictly curbed.
On the issue of the supply of medical oxygen, PM Modi directed that the installation of approved medical oxygen plants should be sped up. "162 PSA Oxygen plants are being installed in 32 States/UTs from PM CARES," an official statement said.
The Prime Minister also reviewed the status of availability and supply of ventilators. He noted that a real-time monitoring system has been created, and directed that concerned state governments should be sensitized to use the system proactively.
The meeting came in the midst of a huge surge in COVID-19 cases across the country with reports pouring in from many states about the shortage of hospital facilities and essentials like oxygen supply.
In the meeting, Modi was joined by Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Union Home Secretary, Union Health Secretary and the Pharmaceutical Secretary, among others while Dr V K Paul, Member, Niti Aayog, was also present.
Report by Chetali S M
Reported on – 18/04/2021