Amid the spike in COVID-19 cases across the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday chaired a meeting with the Chief Ministers of the high burden states over the prevailing COVID-19 situation. The meeting was held virtually and also included Home Minister Amit Shah, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal as well as Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and officials of the Health Minister.
India recorded 3,32,730 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the highest single-day spike since the pandemic broke out last year. India has crossed the mark of 3 lakh COVID-19 cases for two consecutive days now. Against this backdrop, the PM Modi met with the Chief Ministers of 11 states and union territories including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi. Here's what they had to say summed up in a few lines:
Karnataka: Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said that the state had an "adequate number of beds", even as he appealed to the PM to ensure supply of 1,471 tonnes of oxygen per day and two lakh dose of Remdesivir for next 10 days.
Chhattisgarh: Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel sought information about the quantity of vaccines the state will get from the Centre and from the manufacturers. He also called for vaccines to be provided to the states at the same rate as the Central government.
Punjab: Dubbing the vaccination policy for those above 18 "unfair" towards the states, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh sought central funding for it. He also sought parity in rates of the vaccine to be given to the states and the Centre.
Maharashtra: Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray demanded additional medical oxygen for the state (possibly by airlifting) as adequate supply of vaccines, and permission to import Remdesivir to tackle the surge in COVID-19 cases.
Gujarat: Chief Minister Vijay Rupani told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the state had ramped up testing and had beds available. The state, he said, would tackle the COVID-19 outbreak through vaccination and strict adherence to norms in place to curb the spread of the virus, as well as ramping up of health infrastructure in the state.
West Bengal: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee skipped Friday's meeting of CMs. As per sources, Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay represented the state at the review meeting.
Delhi: Flagging the possibility of a "big tragedy" due to the oxygen shortage in hospitals, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the Centre should take over all oxygen plants through the Army. He also urged the PM to direct chief ministers of all states to ensure smooth movement of oxygen tankers coming to the national capital. (With inputs from agencies)