Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with Chief Ministers of the North-Eastern states on COVID-19 situation today .
The interaction was attended by the Chief Ministers of Tripura, Nagaland, Sikkim, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur and Assam.
All the Chief Ministers briefed the PM on the vaccination progress in their respective states and actions taken to take vaccines to far-flung places. They also highlighted vaccination hesitancy and the steps being taken to combat it. They described how medical infrastructure had been improved to better handle COVID cases, as well as the assistance provided by the PM CARES Fund. They gave assurance of taking timely action to bring down the positivity rate as well as the number of cases in their States.
Home Minister Amit Shah mentioned about the reduction in the total daily number of cases, but cautioned that this should not lead to complacency or letting one’s guard down. He claimed that some parts of the country have high levels of positivity. ‘’Testing, tracing, tracking, and vaccination is important,’’ he added.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister praised the people, health workers, and governments of the Northeast for their efforts in fighting the pandemic and building infrastructure for testing, treatment, and vaccination despite the states’ tough terrain.
The Prime Minister voiced concern over the rising number of cases in several districts and emphasised on the importance to take strict actions at the micro-level. He reiterated the importance of using the micro containment protocol and requested that the knowledge and best practices accumulated over the past few years must be fully utilised in this regard.
Noting the fast mutating nature of the virus, the Prime Minister advised strict monitoring of the mutation and keeping track of all variants. He informed experts that they are studying the mutations and their impact. In such scenarios, prevention and treatment are critical, he said, emphasizing COVID appropriate behaviour.
Acknowledging the impact of pandemic on tourism and business, the Prime Minister strongly cautioned against crowding at hill stations without observing proper precautions.
North-East is important for Vaccine for all-free for all campaign
PM Modi further said that the Northeast is equally important in the central government’s “vaccine for all, free for all” campaign and that the vaccination process must be accelerated. He requested the assistance of social, educational, and celebrities, as well as religious organisations to deal with the myths pertaining to vaccination and mobilising people.
Rs 23,000 crore package for improving the infrastructure
The Prime Minister said that the recent Cabinet approval of a Rs 23,000 crore package for enhancing the facilities for testing and treatment will improve the Northeast’s health infrastructure . In the Northeast, this package will speed up testing, diagnostics, and genomic sequencing.
In the Northeast, the Prime Minister emphasised the urgent need for more beds, oxygen facilities, and pediatric care infrastructure. Hundreds of oxygen plants are being established across the country under PM-CARES, with about 150 plants in the Northeast. The Prime Minister asked the Chief Ministers to finish the process of constructing these plants as soon as possible.
Need to establish a temporary hospital
Due to the northeast’s geographical location, the Prime Minister stressed the importance of establishing a temporary hospital. He also requested that trained people be prepared, as oxygen plants, ICU wards, and new machinery that are reaching two-block level hospitals will require this manpower.
The Prime Minister emphasised the urgent need to expand the testing infrastructure in the affected district, citing the country’s capability of 20 lakh tests each day. He also emphasised on both vigorous and random testing.