Amid rising COVID-19 cases across the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a crucial meeting with the chief ministers of all states and Union territories on Wednesday.
According to a report by the Hindustan Times, PM Modi is expected to raise the issue of states where the virus appears to be taking hold once again, and is likely to stress on the need to accelerate vaccinations.
PM Modi will hold a video conference with chief ministers to discuss the issues, an exercise he has been doing regularly ever since the outbreak of the pandemic early last year.
PM Modi's last interaction with chief ministers was in January before the vaccination roll-out. At that time, he had announced that the Centre will bear the expenses of vaccinating nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers in the first round and suggested that public representatives, a reference to politicians, should not be part of this initial exercise.
For the last six consecutive days, India has reported more than 20,000 cases of COVID-19 per day. Eight states have shown an upward trend in daily cases of coronavirus, according to health ministry data. The ministry said that Maharashtra remained the biggest contributor of COVID-19 cases in the tally followed by Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan recently wrote a letter to Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte, expressing disappointment over the state's measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus infection.
The state does not seem to be serious about controlling the situation, the letter said. The letter also stated that Maharashtra is undergoing the second wave of COVID-19 while urging for focus on containment strategies. A central delegation visited Maharashtra between March 7 and 11 and also discussed the COVID-19 situation with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Meanwhile, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday said negligence towards COVID-19 appropriate behaviour is the main reason behind the surge in the cases.
"Only a few states account for more than 80% of the rising cases. The negligence towards COVID appropriate behaviour is the main reason behind it. It is important to ascertain that COVID appropriate behaviour is followed even after the vaccine is available," union health minister Harsh Vardhan said.
(With inputs from PTI)