It will be ensured that the vaccine for citizens meets all necessary scientific criteria, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said

Pointing out that the priority will be to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccine reaches everyone, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the government is keeping a close watch on their development.

Speaking during a meeting with Chief Ministers to review the COVID-19 situation, he said the government is in contact with Indian developers and manufacturers, along with global regulators, governments of other countries, multilateral institutions and international companies.

Addressing the Chief Ministers through video conferencing on the vaccine delivery, distribution and administration, PM Modi added that it will be ensured that the vaccine for citizens will meet all necessary scientific criteria.

He said that the focus in the fight against COVID has been on saving each and every life and the priority will be to ensure that the vaccine reaches everyone.

Governments at all levels will have to work together to ensure that the vaccination drive is smooth, systematic and sustained, he said.

Talking about various myths on earlier vaccines that are spread over the internet, he said that rumours about side effects of the vaccine may be spread even this time too.

PM Modi called upon the civil society and media among others, and said that the attempts of spreading rumours should be tackled through spreading greater awareness, by taking all possible help including civil society, students of NCC & NSS and the media.

The government has time and again ensured that the priority of vaccination is being decided in consultation with the States. In fact, the requirements of additional cold chain storages have also been discussed with the states.

The meeting focused on the eight states and UTs of Haryana, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat and West Bengal. All these states are reporting high numbers of cases with Delhi on top.

Keeping it in mind, he advised the CMs of these states to ensure regular monitoring of State Level Steering Committee and State & District Level Task Force to ensure better results.

The Chief Ministers gave an overview of rise in the number of cases to PM Modi and assured that a number of measures have been taken to bring down the number. They discussed various measures to increase testing saying that one of the steps include testing being done at State borders.

Similarly, teams are going from home to home to conduct tests, curbs are being put to reduce size of public gatherings, and imposition of curfews are being done. Other measures include crowd restrictive measures, awareness campaigns being run and steps taken to increase usage of masks.

On the importance of awareness, PM Modi said that it is of utmost importance to increase awareness about the seriousness of the virus. He noted that the trend of increase in spread of the pandemic in countries where its impact was earlier lessening, is being seen in some States as well, which necessitates greater alacrity and caution by the administration.

He highlighted the expansion of infrastructure being undertaken by the central government to make healthcare facilities available to the common public.

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.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah also attended the meeting.