Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the country will have to prioritise COVID-19 vaccination as per the availability of vaccines.
Amidst a second wave of coronavirus cases being witnessed in the country, Modi held a virtual meeting with the chief ministers of the state for containment of the pandemic.
The prime minister said the vaccination criteria in India is not different from that in rich countries of the world. While efforts are on to increase manufacturing capacity and development of new medicines, the country will have to prioritise vaccination as per the availability of vaccines, he said.
He also asked states to make efforts to achieve 100 per cent vaccination in the age group of above 45 years, which is currently eligible for vaccination. Saying that April 11 is the birth anniversary of social activist Jyotiba Phule and April 14 of Babasaheb Ambedkar, Modi advised states to observe April 11 to April 14 as 'Tika Utsav' or vaccination festival to vaccinate the maximum number of people.
The prime minister highlighted that the country has crossed the peak of COVID-19 cases seen in the first wave, with many states, including Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, also crossing the peak. He said many other states are also moving in the same direction which is a matter of concern.
Modi said that people and administration have become casual in their behaviour as compared to the first wave, and asked chief ministers to focus on 'test, track and treat', along with COVID-appropriate behaviour. He said the country has the advantage of experience, vaccines and better infrastructure as compared to the first wave.
PM asked states to endorse night curfew as 'corona curfew'. He advised them to focus on micro-containment zones and ramp up testing. The target should be to do 70 per cent RT-PCR tests, he said.
The prime minister reiterated his appeal for wearing masks and continuing with precautions even after getting vaccinated. He said India had won the battle against the first wave of coronavirus cases without vaccines, and expressed confidence that the country will be successful in defeating the second wave as well.
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