P M Modi held a high-level meeting after a sudden rise of Covid cases in China .

staff reporter

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a high-level meeting on Covid-19 Thursday urged people to wear masks in crowded public places, asked authorities to ramp up testing, genome sequencing, and to encourage people especially vulnerable, elderly groups to take 'Precaution (booster) dose'. The high-level meeting came after a sudden rise of Covid cases in China and some other countries which have raised concerns of a possible new wave across the world. The Prime Minister was briefed that India has been witnessing a steady decline in cases with average daily cases falling to 153 and weekly positivity down to 0.14 per cent in the week ending December 22, 2022. However, 5.9 lakh daily average cases have been reported globally since the last 6 weeks, the PMO informed.

  1. PM Modi stressed the need to ensure that entire Covid infrastructure at all levels is maintained at a high level of preparedness in terms of equipment, processes and human resources.
  2. PM Modi advised States to audit Covid specific facilities to ensure operational readiness of Hospital Infrastructure, including oxygen cylinders, PSA plants, ventilators and human resources.
  3. During the meeting, PM Modi was informed that there is adequate availability with regard to medicines, vaccines and hospital beds. He advised to regularly monitor the availability and prices of essential medicines.
  4. The Prime Minister cautioned against complacency, advises for maintaining strict vigil.
  5. States have been asked to share a larger number of samples with the designated INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (lGSLs) for genome sequencing on a daily basis, the PMO said. This will support timely detection of newer variants, if any, circulating in the country and facilitate undertaking requisite public health measures, it said.
  6. PM Modi reiterated that Covid is not over yet and directed officials to strengthen the ongoing surveillance measures, especially at international airports, the statement said.
  7. A comprehensive presentation was made at the meeting regarding the global Covid situation, including the rising cases in countries, by the health secretary and the member (health) at the NITI Aayog.
  8. Highlighting the globally appreciated work of frontline healthcare workers, Prime Minister Modi exhorted them to continue working in the same selfless and dedicated manner, according to the statement.
  9. Meanwhile, India has started 2 per cent random sampling of international travellers coming to the country and may consider making it mandatory for all if necessary, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said.
  10. The meeting was attended by Home Minister Amit Shah, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Bharati Pravin Pawar, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister PK Mishra, NITI Aayog CEO Parameswaran Iyer, Member (Health) NITI Aayog V K Paul, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Advisor PMO Amit Khare, Home Secretary A K Bhalla, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, among others.

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