Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a meeting on Wednesday, March 17, with chief ministers of all states to take stock of the COVID-19 situation in the country. PM Modi will also review the ongoing vaccination drive against the coronavirus.
The meeting will be held via videoconferencing, where the Prime Minister will discuss the latest surge in COVID-19 cases in several states. The PM's meeting with CMs will be the first such since India launched the world's largest immunisation drive against the disease on January 16.
The primary agenda of this virtual meeting will be the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in different parts of the country. The meeting between PM Modi and the chief ministers will take place at 12.30 pm.
For the last six consecutive days, India has reported more than 20,000 cases of COVID-19 per day. And, this week on Sunday, the daily cases crossed the 26,000-mark for the first time since December 19 and sparked fears of a new wave of COVID-19.
Eight states have shown an upward trend in daily cases of coronavirus, according to health ministry data. The ministry said that Maharashtra remained the biggest contributor of COVID-19 cases in the tally followed by Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana.
Owing to this surge in daily caseload, PM Modi is expected to reiterate that states must ensure strict adherence to health protocols, including social distancing and wearing of masks.
Separately, three new variants of COVID-19, from the UK, South Africa, and Brazil, have been reported so far in India, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey told the Rajya Sabha. A 33-year-old man, currently admitted at LNJP Hospital, has become the first confirmed case of COVID-19 caused by the South Africa variant of coronavirus in Delhi.