Updated: April 30, 2021 8:19:06 pm
Amid the unprecedented Covid-19 crisis, further worsened by an acute shortage of oxygen, related medical equipment and vaccines, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting of the Union Council of Ministers Friday, where they were briefed about the management of the pandemic.
At the meeting, Modi urged the Union ministers to stay in touch with people of their regions, help them and keep getting their feedback. He stressed upon the need to ensure that issues at the local level are promptly identified and addressed.
This was the first meeting of the council of ministers in the aftermath of the second wave of COVID-19 in the country.
It was noted that the COVID pandemic is “once in a century crisis” and has thrown a big challenge for the world. The meeting also highlighted the Government of India’s Team India approach to fight COVID, based on the collective efforts of the Centre, state governments and the general public.
Modi said all arms of the government are working unitedly and rapidly to deal with the situation.
The Council also reviewed all the efforts made in the last 14 months by the Centre and state governments to curb the spread of the virus.
“The efforts by the Central Government in coordination with the states towards building up infrastructure in the form of ramping up hospital beds, PSA oxygen facilitiesetc, resolving issues in production, storage and transport of Oxygen, tackling matters relating to availability of essential medicines were briefed,” a government statement said. The measures being taken to further ramp up their supply and availability were also pointed out. The support measures to the vulnerable population in the form of provision of food-grains and financial support to Jan Dhan account holders were also discussed in the meeting.
It was also noted that India could successfully produce two vaccines and there are many candidates at the various stages of approval and induction. More than 15 crore vaccinations have been done as on date.
Further, the Council also stressed the importance of Covid appropriate behaviour– wearing a mask, keeping physical distance of 6 feet and washing hands frequently.
At the meeting that was held virtually, NITI Aayog member VK Paul gave a presentation on COVID-19 management.
After him, Union ministers Piyush Goyal and Mansukh Mandaviya briefed their cabinet colleagues on the availability of oxygen and medicines respectively.
The prime minister has held several rounds of meetings with chief ministers and top government officials to deliberate on the COVID-19 situation.
He has also been holding meetings with pharmaceutical industry leaders, oxygen suppliers, the heads of the three armed forces and other dignitaries to discuss how to tackle the pandemic.
India reported 3.86 lakh new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours ending 8 am Friday, its sharpest spike since the pandemic first gripped the country last year. With this, the total caseload rose to over 1.87 crore. Out of the total cases, over 31 lakh cases are currently active while over 1.53 crore people have recovered after testing positive. Meanwhile, with 3,498 new deaths, the fatality toll surged to 2.08 lakh.
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