Nations around the world are setting new records for COVID-19 infections and deaths, with cases in India hitting record highs over the last few days. As the country repeatedly clocks more than 1 lakh fresh cases a day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a virtual meeting with all Chief Ministers to review the situation. This incidentally is the second such meeting within a month.
The meeting also comes against the backdrop of an ongoing tussle between Maharashtra and the state, both over the state's rising caseload, and the equitable distribution of vaccines. But even as State and Central officials spar, the Prime Minister appeared to be striking a conciliatory note.
According to reports, the Prime Minister contended during Thursday's meeting that while it had become a "fashion" of sorts to compare states, a high case tally was certainly not an indication that the state in question was doing a bad job.
"I told you that you shouldn't worry a bit if the number of cases is high. Don't be under any kind of pressure that your performance is bad because your numbers are high. You just focus on testing, I'm telling you even now. There is no reason to think you are doing badly if your numbers are high...There will be more positive cases if you do more testing," was quoted as saying.
The Prime Minister emphasised on the 'test track and treat' mantra, besides stressing on following COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and effective management measures to check the spread of the virus. Observing that every single positive case has the potential to spread the virus to others in the absence of adequate preventive measures, the Prime Minister said that at least 30 contacts of a positive case must be traced, tested and quarantined, preferably within the first 72 hours.
The Prime Minister called for a 'Teeka Utsav' (vaccination festival) between April 11, the birth anniversary of Jyotirao Govindrao Phule, and April 14, the birth anniversary of B.R. Ambedkar. "Effort should be made to vaccinate the maximum number of people during the vaccination festival," he added.
(With inputs from agencies)