Prime Minister Narendra Modi (File Image: PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 18 emphasised on the need to protect India’s villages against the second wave of COVID-19.
The prime minister was interacting with field officials from states and districts about their experience in handling the coronavirus pandemic.
PM Modi also urged state and district officials to innovate and find new methods to counter the pandemic. “The success of your district can prove to be an example for other districts. We need to adopt best practices,” PM Modi said.
Officials must keep adjusting techniques deployed to fight the second wave of COVID-19 based on inputs they receive from their colleagues in other districts, PM Modi said.
“You all are playing a very important role in the battle against coronavirus. In a way, you all (state and district officials) are like field commanders fighting a war. Aggressive testing, local containment and delivering accurate information and assistance to people are our main weapons in this fight,” PM Modi said.
'Currently, there is a dip in the number of COVID-19 cases in some states while an increase in others. As the cases are decreasing, we need to be more alert. I have been requesting in the meetings which were held in last one year that our fight is to save every single life," PM Modi added.
PM Modi also asked administrative officers to tackle misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines and ramp up the inoculation drive.
COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker: All you need to know about manufacturing and pricing
Officials from Karnataka, Bihar, Assam, Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi participated in the virtual meeting.
During the interaction, officials shared best practices for continuing the ongoing nationwide battle against COVID-19, especially in semi-urban and rural areas.
Besides officials, BS Yediyurappa and Shivraj Singh Chouhan were among the chief ministers who were present in the virtual meeting. Union Home Ministry Amit Shah also participated in the meeting.
Follow our LIVE blog for the latest updates of the coronavirus pandemic
India is witnessing a COVID-19 second wave which has battered a creaking healthcare system hard as scores of people struggle to secure hospital beds, oxygen cylinders and medicines. While the daily new infections have dropped in recent days, the number of cases being reported in a single day remains over the 2 lakh-mark. On May 18, India reported over 4,000 deaths in the previous 24 hours. The overall death toll in India has surged to 2.78 lakh.
While 2.15 crore patients have recuperated, more than 33.53 lakh cases remain ‘active’.
PM Modi’s interaction with the state and district officials came amid growing concerns that infections are spreading rapidly in India’s rural area.
Many state governments have extended lockdown-like restrictions and taken additional steps to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus further, especially in villages.
The Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in Madhya Pradesh, for example, has already launched a ‘Kill Corona-Part 3’ campaign specifically in rural areas of the state to break the chain of transmission in villages by sending teams door-to-door to screen and test people and distribute medicines.
In Congress-ruled Rajasthan, the state government has decided to temporarily hire over 25,000 nurses and 1,000 medical officials for help in Community Health Centers (CHC) in villages and ensure set up of at least 10 ICUs and high-flow Oxygen beds in each CHC along with 10 oxygen concentrators.
Uttar Pradesh has undertaken a major testing drive in villages, along with 72,000 surveillance teams comprising four lakh health workers and surveillance committee members moving door-to-door in about 97,000 villages to examine persons with symptoms and give them medical kits and medicines.Follow Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here