Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet senior officials from various ministries to take stock of coronavirus situation and status of vaccination programme in the country. The meeting, scheduled at 8 PM on Saturday, is likely to focus on inter-ministerial efforts to streamline the fight against coronavirus pandemic which is undergoing its second wave in the nation.
With the daily number of new cases crossing the 2-lakh mark, the meeting could see decisions on containment and other restrictions to stop the spread of the virus. PM Modi has advocated micro-containment practices to keep the infection in check without harming the economy.
The current surge in COVID-19 cases has been primarily blamed on the recent state legislative elections, which saw massive campaigning and widespread disregard for COVID protocols. The ongoing Kumbh Mela has also stoked fears of creating another super-spreader event. The meeting might see discussions on measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 linked to these events.
PM Modi has been meeting chief ministers, officials and other stakeholders to assess the COVID-19 situation in the country and devise measures to keep it in check. This latest meeting comes as the country is struggling with mounting cases putting immense pressure on the nation's health infrastructure and the vaccination drive is facing supply-side hurdles.
Several states have asked the Centre for help with medical oxygen supply and stressed hospital facilities. Patients are also facing troubles in procuring anti-COVID medicine Remdesivir amid surge in demand due to the steep rise in number of coronavirus cases.
Some states have also asked the central government to provide additional vaccine doses. Following this, the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan blamed government in three states - Maharashtra, Punjab and Delhi - for politicising the matter. Notably, vaccination sessions had to be cancelled at several centres in Maharashtra due to lack of doses.
The meeting comes on a day when India reported record single-day rise of 2,34,692 cases and 1,341 fatalities, taking India's COVID-19 tally to 1,45,26,609 and the death toll to 1,75,649, showed data released by the Union Health Ministry.
Registering a steady increase for the 38th day in a row, the tally of active COVID-19 cases has climbed to 16,79,740 in the country, accounting for 11.56 per cent of its total caseload, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has dropped to 87.23 per cent, the ministry further announced.
(Edited by Vivek Punj)
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