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Govt keeping close watch on development of COVID-19 vaccines, reassures PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi  has reassured that the government is keeping a close watch on the development of COVID-19 vaccines . Mr Modi said , the government is in contact with Indian developers and manufacturers, along with global regulators, governments of other countries, multilateral institutions and international companies on vaccine development.

The Prime Minister added that it will be ensured that the vaccine for citizens will meet all necessary scientific criteria. He stressed that just like the focus in the fight against COVID has been on saving each and every life, the priority will be to ensure that the vaccine reaches everyone.  He said, Governments at all levels will have to work together to ensure that the vaccination drive is smooth, systematic and sustained.

The Prime Minister made his remarks during a high-level meeting held with Chief Ministers of all States and Union Territories via video conferencing, to review the status and preparedness of COVID-19 response and management, with special emphasis on eight high focus States. These States are Haryana, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat and West Bengal.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister noted that the priority of vaccination is being decided in consultation with the States and the requirements of additional cold chain storages has also been discussed with the States. Mr Modi asked the Chief Ministers to ensure regular monitoring of State Level Steering Committee and State and District Level Task Force to ensure better results.

The Prime Minister also forewarned that past experience tells us several myths and rumours are spread around vaccines and rumours about side effects of the vaccine may be spread. He emphasized that such attempts need to be tackled through spreading greater awareness, by taking all possible help including civil society, students of NCC and NSS and the media.

The Prime Minister remarked that the country has faced the pandemic through concerted efforts and in terms of both recovery rate and fatality rate and the situation in India is better than most other countries. He said that our target should be to bring down Fatality Rate below one per cent. He also talked about the expansion of the testing and treatment network, and noted that special emphasis of the PM CARES fund has been to make available oxygen. He said that efforts are on to make medical colleges and district hospitals self-sufficient in terms of oxygen generation, and informed that the process for establishing more than 160 new oxygen plants is underway.

Prime Minister Modi noted that it is important to increase RT-PCR tests, ensure better monitoring of patients especially those in home isolation, better equip health centres at village and community level and keep running awareness campaigns for safety from the virus.Saying India fought COVID-19 bravely, Prime Minister cautioned against complacency in fight against Covid 19. The Prime minister said, after seeing good recovery rates, many think that virus is weak . He cautioned this has led to rampant carelessness. He said,  those working on vaccine are doing it but there is a need to focus on ensuring that people are and transmission is curbed. Mr Modi stressed the need to bring positivity rate under 5 per cent.

Chief Ministers of Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal,Haryana, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana among others attended the meeting through video conferencing. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Health Minister Dr. Harshvardhan, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and NITI Aayog Member Dr. V K Paul werealso present in the high level COVID review meet.

The Prime Minister had earlier on last friday held a meeting with top officials on India’s strategy for developing a vaccine and making it accessible to the masses.

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