Urging all the state authorities to increase testing and ensure that people maintain Covid protocols, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday told state CMs to focus on night curfews and micro-containment zones while following the formula of ‘test, track and treat’ to bring the Covid situation under control.
PM Modi, who chaired a virtual meet with the state chief ministers in the wake of surge in coronavirus cases, said of late, both the people and state administration are exhibiting casual approach towards the virus. Stating that India had successfully brought down the number of infections when even vaccines were not available, he said that following Covid-specific SOPs is the only way to keep the virus away.
PM Modi also proposed to observe ‘Tika Utsav (vaccine festival)’ for COVID-19 from April 11 (Jyotirao Phule’s birth anniversary) to April 14 (B R Ambedkar’s birth anniversary) and asked everyone, including civil society members, youths, to come forward and help more and more people eligible for vaccination to get immunised during the period.
Centre, amid complaints of shortage in vaccine by Maharashtra, has decided to send 17 lakh doses instead of the earlier-promised 7.3 lakh. Informing about this, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that the state should get more of the vaccine as Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are getting over 40 lakh does, Gujarat over 30 lakh and Haryana over 24 lakh.
Meanwhile, the Madhya Pradesh government on Thursday announced a weekend lockdown from 6 pm on Friday to 6 am on Monday in a move to control the steep surge in coronavirus cases in the state. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said “appropriate action” will be taken for cities witnessing a rise in cases after a meeting. “For cities where cases have increased, appropriate action will be taken after meeting of crisis management group. We are making containment areas in big cities,” he added.
India detected 1,26,789 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours, the highest so far. Of the total, Maharashtra recorded a new high of 59,907 cases, while Chhattisgarh’s count went past the 10,000-mark for the first time. Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, too, reported more than 6,000 cases. The country also recorded 685 related deaths. India’s caseload now stands at 1,29,28,574, of which 8,43,473 are active cases and 1,18,51,393 people have recovered from the virus.