PM Modi urges States to increase Vaccination centers, scale up RT-PCR tests


New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday urged Chief Ministers of all States to increase the number of vaccination centres and the RT-PCR tests to curb the ’emerging second wave’ of the coronavirus.

“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 UP,” PM Modi said while addressing the meeting held with Chief Ministers of States.

“Most of the COVID-affected countries in the world had to face several waves of Corona. In our country too, cases have suddenly started increasing in some states. Several Chief Ministers have also expressed concern…Test positivity rate in Maharashtra and MP is very high and the number of cases also rising,” PM Modi said.

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

“The whole country has opened up for travel and the number of people travelling has also increased. There is a need for a new mechanism for sharing information among themselves. Similarly, the responsibility of following the SOP for surveillance of the contacts of the travellers coming from abroad has also increased,” he said.

“It has now become necessary for us to become pro-active. Making micro-containment zones, wherever necessary, is very important if we want to limit the spread of the COVID-19 wave. We must not put our guards down at this crucial hour,” he added

The PM also expressed concern over the rise in cases of infection in tier-2 and tier-3 cities.

“Significant increase is being seen in many districts that had protected themselves so far and were kind of safe-zones. 70 districts of the country have seen an increase of more than 150% in the last few weeks. If we don’t stop it here, a situation of the nationwide outbreak can come up,” he added.

Stressing on the need to scaling up the Real Time-PCR (RT-PCR) tests, he said that some states, like Kerala and Uttar Pradesh, are too reliant on Rapid Antigen Test, which should not be the case.

Cautioning the Chief Ministers, Prime Minister said, “It is a matter of contemplation that why there is less testing in some areas only. Why is there less vaccination in these areas? I think it’s a time of test for good governance…Our confidence should not turn into overconfidence. Our success should not turn into negligence.”

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

Along with these, one of the points that he laid special importance is the wastage of vaccine doses.
He said more than 10 per cent of vaccine is being wasted in Telangana and vaccine wastage has also been seen in Uttar Pradesh.

“Over 10 per cent vaccine wastage has been seen in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Vaccine wastage in UP is almost the same. It should be reviewed in states that why’s vaccine wastage happening? Monitoring must be done every evening and pro-active people should be contacted so that there’s no wastage,” he added.

Giving the mantra of ‘Dawai bhi, Kadai bhi’, he said we must not put the people in panic mode while combatting the virus.

“We don’t have to bring the public into panic mode. We don’t have to bring a situation where there is an atmosphere of fear. We have to free the people off difficulties by taking some precautions and initiatives,” he remarked.

As many as 28,903 new COVID-19 cases and 17,741 recoveries were reported in India in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry informed on Wednesday.

With the addition of fresh infections, the total cases in the country reached 1,14,38,734, including 2,34,406 active cases and 1,10,45,284 recoveries.