PM Modi chairs meeting on COVID-19, calls for ramping up vaccine production, availability of hospital beds


New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to review the status of preparedness to handle the COVID-19 in view of rising cases and stressed that there is no substitute for testing, tracking and treatment.

He said that all necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for COVID patients.

He also asked the officials to make efforts to utilize the entire national capacity, in the public as well as the private sector, to ramp up vaccine production.
Various aspects relating to medicines, oxygen, ventilators and vaccination were discussed in the meeting.

The Prime Minister spoke about the need to utilize the full potential of India’s pharmaceutical industry to meet the rising demand for various medicines.

He said that together India had defeated COVID-19 last year and India can do it again, with the same principles but faster speed and coordination.

According to a PMO release, the Prime Minister said early testing and proper tracking remains key to reduce mortality.

“He said that all necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for Covid patients. The Prime Minister also directed that additional supply of beds through temporary hospitals and isolation centres should be ensured,” the release said.

Noting that local administrations need to be proactive and sensitive to people’s concerns, the Prime Minister said close coordination with states must be ensured in handling the pandemic.
He reviewed the status of the supply of Remdesivir and other medicines.

The release said that the Prime Minister was briefed on actions taken to address the issue of availability of Remdesivir.

It said that through the efforts of the government, capacity and production augmentation for manufacturing of Remdesivir has been ramped up to provide around 74.10 lakh vials per month in May while the normal production output in January-February was just 27-29 lakh vials per month.

Supplies have also increased from 67,900 vials on April 11 to over 2,06,000 vials on April 15 and are being particularly focused on states with high caseload and high demand.

He took note of the ramped up production capacity and directed that issues relating to real-time supply chain management to states must be resolved urgently.

He said that the use of Remdesivir and other medicines must be in accordance with approved medical guidelines and that their misuse and black marketing must be strictly curbed.
On the issue of the supply of medical oxygen, he said that the installation of approved medical oxygen plants should be speeded up.

A total of 162 PSA Oxygen plants are being installed in 32 states and union territories from PM CARES.

The officers informed that one lakh cylinders are being procured and they will be supplied to states soon.

They briefed the PM that they are in constant supply with 12 high burden states in assessing the current and future requirement of medical oxygen.
A supply mapping plan for 12 high burden states till April 30 has also been undertaken.

The Prime Minister also said that the supply of oxygen required for the production of medicines and equipment necessary to handle the pandemic should also be ensured.
He also reviewed the status of the availability and supply of ventilators.

He noted that a real-time monitoring system has been created, and directed that concerned state governments should be sensitized to use the system proactively.

The Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Union Home Secretary and Union Health Secretary were among those who joined the meeting.

Niti Aayog member Dr V K Paul was also present. (ANI)