Priority of Covid vaccination being decided in consultation with states, PM modi tells CMs during review meet
He urged CMs to share their feedback in writing on COVID-19 strategy, says no one can impose any view and all have to work together
After two months, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday held a virtual conference with Chief Ministers of all states and union territories to review the status and preparedness of COVID-19 response and management, with special emphasis on eight high focus States. These states were Haryana, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat and West Bengal.
The modalities of Covid-19 vaccine delivery, distribution and administration were also discussed during the meeting.
PM Modi, during the review meeting , urged CMs to share their feedback in writing on COVID-19 strategy, saying that no one can impose any view and all have to work together.
As for the coronavirus vaccine development and distribution plans, Modi said, "Vaccine distribution strategy will be chalked out in collective coordination with states. States must also start working cold storage facilities."
"It's yet not decided which vaccine will cost how much. Though two India-based vaccines are at the forefront, we're working with global firms also. Even after drugs being available for years, some people have adverse reactions. So a decision needs to be taken on scientific basis," PM Modi highlighted.
However, he reassured that the government is keeping a close watch on the development of vaccines and is in contact with Indian developers and manufacturers, along with global regulators, governments of other countries, multilateral institutions and international companies. He added that safety is as important as speed for us, whichever vaccine India will give to its citizens will be safe on all scientific standards.
He added that it will be ensured that the vaccine for citizens will meet all necessary scientific criteria. He underlined that just like the focus in the fight against COVID has been on saving each and every life, the priority will be to ensure that the vaccine reaches everyone. Governments at all levels will have to work together to ensure that the vaccination drive is smooth, systematic and sustained.
Modi also asked the Chief Ministers to ensure regular monitoring of State Level Steering Committee and State and District Level Task Force to ensure better results.
Prime Minister forewarned that past experience tells us several myths and rumours are spread around vaccines. Rumours about side effects of the vaccine may be spread. He emphasized that such attempts need to be tackled through spreading greater awareness, by taking all possible help including civil society, students of NCC & NSS and the media.
Modi also added, "It is not certain whether there will be one, two or three doses of a vaccine. It is also not decided what will be the price of the vaccine. We still don't have answers to these questions."
On the pandemic situation, Modi also said that the country needed to bring down the positivity rate to 5% and the fatality rate below 1%. Modi noted that it is important to increase RT-PCR tests, ensure better monitoring of patients especially those in home isolation, better equip health centres at village and community level and keep running awareness campaigns for safety from the virus.
Modi also spoke about the expansion of the testing and treatment network, and noted that special emphasis of the PM CARES fund has been to make available oxygen. He said that efforts are on to make medical colleges and district hospitals self-sufficient in terms of oxygen generation, and informed that the process for establishing more than 160 new oxygen plants is underway.
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