The global coronavirus death toll crossed 3 million on Saturday even as the race for immunisation continues. Breaking all records, Maharashtra reported 67,123 new Covid-19 cases and 419 deaths in 24 hours. While the rest of the country grappled with rising infections and lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to review the status of preparedness to handle the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and discussed various aspects relating to medicines, oxygen, ventilators and vaccination.
Those who joined the review included Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Union Home Secretary, Union Health Secretary, Pharma Secretary. Dr V K Paul, Niti Aayog.
He ordered that all necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of the hospital beds for the Covid patients, including setting up of temporary hospitals and isolation centres and once again stressed that there is no substitute to testing, tracking and treatment. The PM reviewed the status of supply of Remdesivir and other essential medicines to deal with the killer virus. The PM said the local administrations need to be proactive and sensitive towards people’s concerns. He directed the central officials to have close coordination with the states in handling the pandemic.
A press note issued by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), after a 2-hour long meeting through video-conference, said on the issue of supply of medical Oxygen, he ordered speeding up of the installation of approved medical oxygen plants. He was briefed that 162 PSA Oxygen plants are being installed in 32 States/UTs from PM CARES. The officers informed that 1 lakh cylinders are being procured & they will be supplied to states soon. The officers briefed the PM that they are in constant touch with 12 high burden states in assessing the current and future requirement of medical oxygen and a supply mapping plan for these states till April 30 has been undertaken. A supply mapping plan for 12 high burden states till 30th April has also been undertaken.
The Prime Minister also said that supply of oxygen required for production of medicines and equipment necessary to handle the pandemic should also be ensured. He also reviewed the status of availability & supply of ventilators. The Prime Minister noted that a real time monitoring system has been created, and directed that the concerned State governments should be sensitized to use the system proactively. While reviewing the preparedness of the public health response to Covid-19, PM Modi said: “There is no substitute to testing, tracking and treatment.” He added that all necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of beds for Covid patients. "Local administrations need to be proactive and sensitive to people’s concerns,” the Prime Minister added.