Vaccination remains the proven way to tackle Covid-19 irrespective of the variant, PM Modi said

Pointing out that India had entered the third year of the fight against one of the biggest epidemics in 100 years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday streesed on the need to be alert without creating panic.

Chairing a meeting of Chief Ministers and Lt Governors/Administrators of States and Union Territories in view of the ongoing surge fuelled by Omicron, PM Modi pointed out that vaccination remained the proven way to tackle the Covid-19 virus irrespective of the variant.

Prime Minister Modi said the earlier confusion about Omicron was slowly getting cleared now. The Omicron variant is infecting the general public many times faster than the earlier variants.

“We have to be alert, be careful, but we also have to take care that there is no panic situation. We have to see that in this festive season, the alertness of the people and the administration is not lowered anywhere," he said during the interaction.

The Prime Minister stressed that it was very important to keep in mind that there should be minimum damage to the livelihood of the common people, economic activities, and momentum of the economy should be maintained.

Arguing that it would be better to focus more on local containment, he stressed that we should be able to provide maximum treatment in home isolation situations.

About 92 per cent of the adult population had received the first dose of the vaccine while the coverage of the second dose had reached about 70 per cent, the Prime Minister noted. In the last 10 days, India had also vaccinated about 30 million of its adolescents, he added.

"The sooner the precaution dose is given to the frontline workers and senior citizens, the more the capacity of our healthcare system will increase" he said.

PM Modi also stressed the need to counter any misinformation about vaccines or the practice of wearing masks.

“In order to defeat Corona we need to keep our readiness ahead of every variant. Along with tackling Omicron, we need to start preparing for any future variant from now itself”, the Prime Minister said.

The Chief Ministers talked about preparedness to tackle increasing cases, through steps like increase in beds, oxygen availability etc.

Here is what some of the CMs said:

* Karnataka CM talked about the spread of cases in Bengaluru and measures taken to contain spread in apartments.

* West Bengal CM talked about the possible increase in cases in the State on account of upcoming festivities and the administration’s preparation to tackle it.

* Tamil Nadu CM said the state stands together with the Centre in the fight against this wave.

* Jharkhand CM talked about misconceptions in some rural and tribal areas which have caused some difficulties in the vaccination programme.

* Uttar Pradesh CM talked about steps being taken to ensure that no one is left out of the vaccination drive.

* Punjab CM thanked the Prime Minister for fund and infrastructure support, especially in meeting oxygen requirements.

* Assam CM said that steps like precaution dose have proved to be an immense confidence booster.

* Manipur CM said that the state is taking efforts to increase the vaccination coverage