Increase Covid-19 testing in areas with high test positivity rates: PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday chaired a high-level meeting on the situation over the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccination in India. Senior officials of the central government who attended the meeting also provided the Prime Minister with a detailed briefing over the current status of other Covid-19 related efforts, from testing to the positivity and recovery rates. Prime Minister Modi instructed that the rate of Covid-19 testing be scaled up in areas that have reported high test positivity rates (TPR), according to an official press note.
Prime Minister Modi took to his official handle on Twitter to post, "Discussed a number of issues during today’s review meeting on COVID-19, including scaling up testing in areas with high TPR, preparing localized containment strategies, augmenting health capacities in rural areas and ramping up the speed of vaccination."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed the fact that localised Covid-19 testing is the need of the hour, especially for states where the TPR in districts is high. In these regions, both RT-PCR and rapid tests need to be scaled up further, the Prime Minister said, adding that states should be encouraged to report their numbers transparently without any pressure of high numbers showing adversely on their efforts.
Officials also briefed Prime Minister Modi about the vaccination process and the state-wise coverage of 45+ population. The roadmap for future vaccine availability was also discussed. He directed officials to work closely with states to ramp up the speed of vaccination.
The Prime Minister also spoke about empowering ASHA and Anganwadi workers with all necessary tools and asked for guidelines to be made available in easy language along with illustrations for home isolation and treatment in rural areas. According to an official note, Prime Minister Modi also asked for augmentation of healthcare resources in rural areas to focus on door-to-door testing and surveillance.
For rural areas, the Prime Minister noted that a proper distribution plan for ensuring oxygen supply needs to be chalked out, including the thorough provision of oxygen concentrators. He added that health workers should be adequately trained to operate such equipment, and power supply should be ensured for the smooth operation of such medical devices.
Meanwhile, PM Modi took "serious note" of some reports about ventilators lying unutilised in storage in some states and directed that an immediate audit of installation and operation of ventilators provided by the central government be carried out. The Prime Minister added that refresher training for properly operating ventilators should be provided to healthcare workers if necessary.