Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday expressed concern over a rise in COVID-19 cases in parts of the country and called for "quick and decisive" steps to stop the "emerging second peak".
In a virtual interaction with state chief ministers over the pandemic situation and the ongoing vaccination drive, PM Modi said in states like Maharashtra, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh the number of COVID cases has seen a rise while nearly 70 districts in the country have seen an increase in the positivity rate by over 150 per cent of late.
"Most of the COVID-affected countries in world had to face several waves of Corona. In our country too, cases have suddenly started increasing in some states...CMs have also expressed concern...Test positivity rate in Maharashtra & MP is very high and number of cases also rising," PM Modi said.
"Such an increase is being seen in many districts that had protected themselves so far and were kind of safe-zones. 70 districts of the country have seen an increase of more than 150% in last few weeks. If we don't stop it here, a situation of nationwide outbreak can come up," he added.
PM Modi warned that if we do not stop the COVID pandemic, it might create a national outbreak-like situation.
"If we do not stop it here, then a condition for a nationwide outbreak may emerge," he said and called for quick and decisive steps to stop it.
The confidence brought by India's fight against the pandemic so far should not cause carelessness, he said, and asked chief ministers to take measures, including more testing, enforcement of preventive measures as well as an increase in number of vaccination centres to curb the virus.
People should not be put on panic-mode but need to ensure that they get rid of this problem as well, he said.
"Test, track and treat" should be taken as seriously now as it has been for over a year since the outbreak, he added.
The Prime Minister reiterated that RT PCR tests should make up for over 70 per cent of overall Coronavirus testing, while noting that states likes Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Odisha have been mostly dependent on antigen tests.
PM Modi also spoke against the wastage of vaccines and called for more vaccination centres.
"Over 10% vaccine wastage in Telangana & Andhra Pradesh. Vaccine wastage in UP is almost the same. It should be reviewed in states that why's vaccine wastage happening? Monitoring must be done every evening & pro-active people should be contacted so that there's no wastage," he said.
India has put up a strong fight against the Coronavirus so far, and it is being cited as an example in the world, he said, asserting that the country's recovery rate is over 96 per cent and fatality rate among the lowest.
The Prime Minister also said that local administration should work at micro containment zones to stop the spread of the virus. "It has now become necessary for us to become pro-active. The option of making micro-containment zones wherever necessary, we should not bring leniency," PM Modi said.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)