Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a virtual meeting with the chief ministers of other states and union territories on Tuesday, November 24, to review the current COVID-19 situation in the country and discuss vaccine distribution strategy.
PM Modi is expected to hold two back-to-back meetings, one with eight states with high number of coronavirus cases, and another with other states and UTs to discuss the vaccine distribution strategy.
The agenda for the meeting is expected to include a review of the predicaments faced by the worst affected states, along with deliberations regarding the on-going vaccine trials, sources told ANI.
As of now, four vaccine candidates (in India) are in the second or third phase of clinical trials. Issues of vaccine distribution and emergency authorisation (of vaccines) have become inevitably important to be meticulous about.
On Friday, PM Modi had a meeting with top officials from the Centre's think-tank - NITI Aayog, as well as Principal Scientific Advisor to the government - K VijayRaghavan, and Union Health Secretary - Rajesh Bhushan.
"Held a meeting to review India's vaccination strategy and the way forward. Important issues related to the progress of vaccine development, regulatory approvals and procurement were discussed," PM Modi tweeted.
Alongside issues of emergency authorisation and advance procurement, potential pricing of vaccines were also discussed at the meeting - a development that comes after Pfizer and Moderna have said they would seek emergency authorisation of their vaccines, which have proved around 95% efficacy in the trials.
Predominantly, the Centre is worried about two different trends regarding the COVID-19 spread. While the national daily coronavirus case count has remained below 50,000 for some time, the caseload surge in several urban centres has resulted in the enforcement of measures such as curfews by state governments .
PM Modi's first meeting on Tuesday will be with the CMs of states showing a spike in coronavirus cases. These comprise Kerala, West Bengal, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Chhattisgarh. In the second meeting, the prime minister will meet CMs/representatives of all states. The discussion will be on the Centre's plan for quick and effective distribution of the coronavirus vaccine as and when it becomes available.
As of Monday, India's Covid-19 caseload went past 91 lakh with 44,059 coronavirus infections reported in a day, according to Union Health Ministry data.