Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a review meeting on Thursday, directed top officials coordinating India’s COVId-19 response, to maintain a “high level of vigil and alertness at all levels”.
He directed the Centre to closely coordinate with States to support their efforts of public health measures of containment and management. Union Health Secretary, Rajesh Bhushan, had in a letter von Wednesday, directed States to impose stringent restrictions on people’s movement if test positivity and bed occupancy in their districts crossed certain thresholds.
Officials briefed the Prime Minister about the emerging global scenario driven by the new variant, Omicron with an overview of surge in cases in countries having high vaccination coverage and presence of the variant. India has so far reported 236 instances of the Omicron variant since December 4.
According to a statement from the Press Information Bureau, The Prime Minister said the “fight against the pandemic is not over”, adding that “the need for continued adherence to COVID safe behaviour is of paramount importance even today”. A portion of a video clip shared by the government of the meeting in progress shows all attendees masked, except for Mr. Modi. Earlier in the day Mr. Modi had addressed well-attended public meetings in Varanasi.
The Prime Minister directed officials to ensure that the health systems in the States, from the district level upward, were strengthened to meet any challenge posed by the new variant. It was important for States to ensure that the oxygen supply equipments were installed and fully functional, he instructed the officials.
Those who participated in the meeting included Rajiv Gauba, Cabinet Secretary, Dr. V.K. Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, Home Secretary A.K. Bhalla, Secretary (MoHFW) Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary (Pharmaceuticals); Secretary (Biotechnology) Dr. Rajesh Gokhale, DG ICMR Dr. Balram Bhargava; Secretary (AYUSH) Rajesh Kotecha; Shri Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary (Urban Development); Sh. R.S. Sharma CEO NHA; Prof. K. Vijay Raghavan (Principal Scientific Advisor to Govt. of India)