PM Modi chairs meet on COVID-19 in India, says need to scale up testing in areas with high test positivity rates

Testing has gone up rapidly in the country, from around 50 lakh tests per week in early March to around 1.3 crore tests per week now. They also informed about the decreasing positivity rate and increasing recovery rate, officials said..


Prime Minister Narendra Modi

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday chaired a high-level meeting on the COVID-19 situation and the vaccination drive in the country and said that testing should be scaled up in areas with high test positivity rate. He also said that localised containment strategies are the need of the hour, specially for states where TPR in districts is high.

During the meeting, officials gave a detailed presentation on the state and district-level situation of Covid, testing, oxygen availability, healthcare infrastructure, vaccination roadmap.

They informed the prime minister that testing has gone up rapidly in the country, from around 50 lakh tests per week in early March to around 1.3 crore tests per week now, the prime minister's office stated in a release.

Responding to the situation, the prime minister said testing needs to be scaled up further, with the use of both RT-PCR and Rapid Tests, especially in areas with high test positivite rates. PM said that states should be encouraged to report their numbers transparently without any pressure of high numbers showing adversely on their efforts.

The prime minister asked for augmentation of healthcare resources in rural areas to focus on door-to-door testing and surveillance. He also spoke about empowering ASHA and Anganwadi workers with all necessary tools. The prime minister asked for guidelines to be made available in easy language along with illustrations for home isolation and treatment in rural areas.

The prime minister directed that a distribution plan for ensuring oxygen supply in rural areas should be worked out, including through provision of oxygen concentrators. He said necessary training should be provided to health workers in the operation of such equipment, and power supply should be ensured for smooth operation of such medical devices.

Taking serious note of some reports about ventilators lying unutilized in storage in some states, the prime minister directed that an immediate audit of installation and operation of ventilators provided by the Central Government should be carried out.

Refresher training for operating ventilators should be provided to healthcare workers if necessary, he added.

The prime minister said that India’s fight against Covid has been guided throughout by scientists and subject experts and will continue being guided by them.

The officials also briefed the prime minister about the vaccination process and the statewise coverage of 45+ population. The roadmap for future vaccine availability was also discussed. He directed officials to work closely with states to ramp up the speed of vaccination.

Meanwhile, the country on Saturday reported 3,26,098 new COVID-19 cases and 3,890 more COVID-19 deaths, according to the Union Health Ministry's latest update. The total COVID-19 tally now reached 2,43,72,907 and the death toll rose to 2,66,207.

However, the daily number of recoveries has surpassed the daily new positive cases for the past few days and the total number of recovered cases reached 2,04,32,898. With it, the number of active cases reached 36,73,802.

As many as 18,04,57,579 people have been vaccinated for COVID-19 till date.

The 'Liberalized Pricing and Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy' is being implemented from May 1, wherein 50 per cent of the available doses are earmarked for supply to states/UTs, as free of cost supply from the Government of India channel, while the remaining 50 per cent is available for direct procurement from the vaccine manufacturers by states/UTs and private hospitals, the Union Health Ministry said in a release.

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First Published:May 15, 2021, 2:39 p.m.

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