Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Chief Ministers via video conferencing

Interacting with state Chief Ministers regarding the COVID-19 situation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday noted the need for provision of micro containment zones.

He also stressed the need to be serious about 'Test, Track and Treat' as was being done for the last one year.

"Most of the COVID-affected countries in the world had to face several waves of the virus. In our country too, cases have suddenly started increasing in some states," PM Modi said via video conferencing.

In the last 24 hours, India reported 28,903 new coronavirus cases, according to the health ministry; out of these nearly 17,864 new cases have been reported in Maharashtra alone.

The recent spike in cases has taken India's overall case count to over 11.43 million.

"Today in India more than 96 per cent of the cases have recovered. India is one of those countries where the fatality rate is one of the lowest," the Prime Minister said during the meeting.

"Increase is being seen in many districts that had protected themselves so far and were kind of safe zones. Seventy districts have seen an increase of more than 150 per cent in the last few weeks. If we don't stop it, a situation of nationwide outbreak can come up," PM Modi told the CMs.

Speaking of the solutions, PM Modi said it is very important to track every infected person's contacts in the shortest time and keep the RT-PCR test rate above 70 percent. He insisted on more RT-PCR tests in states which give more emphasis to Rapid antigen tests like Kerala, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and U.P.

The Prime Minister urged to increase testing and to pay special attention to the "referral system" and "ambulance network" in small cities.

He said this is because now the whole country has opened up for travel and the number of people travelling has also increased. He stressed on the need for a new mechanism for sharing information among themselves.

Similarly, the responsibility of following the SOP for surveillance of the contacts of the travelers coming from abroad had also increased, he added.

He remarked that we need to identify mutants of coronavirus and assess their effects. PM Modi lauded the continually increased pace of vaccination in the country and the vaccination rates crossing more than 3 million vaccinations in a single day.

But at the same time he warned to take the problem of vaccine doses wastage very seriously.

The Prime Minister noted that the vaccine waste in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh was to the tune of 10 percent. He urged to immediately correct the drawbacks of planning and governance at the local level to reduce vaccine waste.

He summed up that along with the above steps, the basic steps to prevent the spread of this infection were wearing masks, maintaining physical distance and taking care of cleanliness. He urged that there should be no laxity in such steps and people's awareness will have to be raised on these subjects.

Towards the end, PM Modi called for increasing the number of vaccination centres and asked to stay vigilant about the vaccine expiry date.

‘Dawai bhi aur kadai bhi’ insisted the Prime Minister.