PM Modi to meet chief ministers of six states today, review Covid-19 situation
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Friday chair a virtual meeting with chief ministers of six states where coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases are on the rise, officials familiar with the development informed HT earlier this week. These states -- Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, and Maharashtra -- have seen a marked rise in Covid-19 cases across several districts in the recent past.
The Prime Minister's interaction with the chief ministers of these six states will come close in the heels of a similar virtual meet of his with the chief ministers of northeastern territories earlier on Tuesday. There, Prime Minister Modi had expressed his concerns over the influx of unmasked tourists at hill stations and marketplaces, calling for greater emphasis on micro-containment zones.
"The number of Covid-19 cases is rising," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, addressing the chief ministers present at the meet, "We need to take strict action to curb the situation at the micro-level."
Prime Minister Modi also said that officials need to keep an eye out for the various Covid-19 variants which are currently being studied by experts. "We need to keep an eye on each Covid-19 variant. Timely prevention and treatment are very important in such a dynamic situation," he had said.
The Prime Minister's meet on Friday is expected to focus on the overall Covid-19 situation and review the vaccination progress in six states -- Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, and Maharashtra. As many as 73.4% of the new Covid-19 cases in India have been reported from these states, barring Kerala, the central government said earlier this week. A total of 55 districts across the country reported a Covid-19 test-positivity rate of more than 10% in the week ending July 13.
Of these six regions, Odisha and Tamil Nadu are prominently featured in the list of states that have been complaining of an acute vaccine shortage. In fact, Odisha halted its inoculation drive against Covid-19 due to the unavailability of enough doses earlier this week. "The Covishield allocation for July is 2.5 million doses while we require at least 2.83 million doses for the second dose this month," Odisha health secretary PK Mohapatra had said, adding that the vaccination drive would only start after the next consignment of the Covishield doses arrived.
Tamil Nadu, too, reported facing an incessant vaccine shortage earlier last week. On Saturday, 18 districts had no vaccines left. By Sunday night, five-lakh doses of Covishield were sent, patching the situation up for a while.