Modi said though more than 96 per cent of cases in India had recovered, the high test positivity rate in Maharashtra and MP was of concern
New Delhi: Concerned over the emerging “second peak” of the Covid-19 pandemic in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday stressed the need to take quick and decisive steps and warned if the pandemic’s growth was not stopped now, a country-wide outbreak could occur.
Addressing a meeting of chief ministers to combat the fresh wave of the pandemic-induced deaths in the country, Mr Modi said though more than 96 per cent of cases in India had recovered, the high test positivity rate in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh was of huge concern. In all, 70 districts across India have seen a 150 per cent rise in the past few weeks.
“If we don’t stop this right now, there could be a nationwide outbreak. We have to immediately stop the emerging second peak and take big and decisive steps,” Mr Modi told the chief ministers.
“The self-confidence we gained in our corona fight should not turn into overconfidence. Our success should not be the reason for carelessness,” he warned. The PM stressed that initiatives must be taken without causing panic among the people.
Mr Modi remarked there was a need to identify mutants of coronavirus and assess their effects. He lauded the continually increased pace of vaccinations in the country and the vaccination rates crossing more than three million vaccinations in a day. At the same time, he warned that the problem of the wastage of vaccine doses must be taken very seriously.
Significantly, Mr Modi referred to the vaccine wastage in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to the tune of 10 per cent. He urged the chief ministers of the concerned states to immediately correct the drawbacks of planning and governance at the local level to reduce such vaccine waste.
The PM summed up that along with the above steps, the basic steps to prevent the spread of this infection were wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, taking care of cleanliness, etc. He urged that there should be no laxity in such steps and that the people’s awareness will have to be raised on these subjects.
Speaking on the districts that had seen a surge in the past few days, Mr Modi said it was worth considering that these were also the zones where the testing and vaccination was comparatively less.
The PM called for increased RT-PCR tests for proper testing and tracking of the infection and a focus on smaller towns. "Over 70 per cent of the tests should be RT-PCR. States should not rely on Rapid Antigen Tests," the PM said, referring to Kerala, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and UP. “We have to be pro-active in test, track and treat strategy application,” he stressed.
Mr Modi said that Tier 2 and 3 towns, which had escaped the first wave, were getting affected this time. It would not take much for the virus to spread to villages from there, which would overwhelm the healthcare system of the country, he warned.