The meeting was chaired by PM Modi to review the country’s preparedness in view of threat posed by a new variant of the Covid-19

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday chaired a comprehensive meeting which lasted for almost 2 hours to review the public health preparedness and vaccination related situation for Covid-19. The meeting was held through video conferencing.

According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s office, PM Modi was briefed about the global trends on Covid-19 infections and cases.

Officials highlighted that countries across the world have experienced multiple COVID-19 surges since the onset of the pandemic.

PM Modi also reviewed the national situation relating to Covid-19 cases and test positivity rates.

The PM was apprised of the progress in vaccination and the efforts being made under the ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ campaign.

As per PMO, PM Modi directed that there is a need to increase the second dose coverage and that states need to be sensitised on the need to ensure that all those who have got the first dose are given the second dose timely.

PM Modi was also given details about the sero-positivity in the country from time to time and its implications in public health response.

Officials briefed the PM about the new variant of concern ‘Omicron’ along with its characteristics and the impact seen in various countries.

Its implications for India were also discussed. PM Modi spoke about the need to be proactive in light of the new variant.

PM Modi said that in light of the new threat, people need to be more cautious and the need to take proper precautions like masking and social distancing.

PM Modi highlighted the need for monitoring all international arrivals, their testing as per guidelines, with a specific focus on countries identified ‘at risk’.

The PM also asked officials to review plans for easing of international travel restrictions in light of the emerging new evidence.

PM Modi was given an overview of the sequencing efforts in the country and the variants circulating in the country.

He directed that genome sequencing samples be collected from international travellers and community as per norms, tested through the network of labs already established under INSACOG and early warning signals identified for Covid-19 management.

The PM spoke about the need to increase the sequencing efforts and make it more broad-based.

He also directed officials to work closely with state governments to ensure that there is proper awareness at the state and district level. He directed that intensive containment and active surveillance should continue in clusters reporting higher cases and required technical support be provided to states which are reporting higher cases presently.

PM Modi also asked that awareness needs to be created about ventilation and air-borne behaviour of the virus.

Officials briefed the PM that they are following a facilitative approach to newer pharmaceutical products. PM Modi instructed officials to coordinate with states to ensure that there is adequate buffer stock of various medicines.

He asked officials to work with the states to review the functioning of medical infrastructure including pediatric facilities.

The PM asked officials to coordinate with states to ensure proper functioning of PSA oxygen plants and ventilators.