Updated: May 21, 2021 1:50:38 am
With concerns rising over the country’s youth and children falling victim to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday urged officials to collect and analyse the data on the infection and its severity among these two groups.
During a video conference, the Prime Minister also asked state and district officials to record their experiences of dealing with the pandemic in a form of district gazette, which can be useful for coming generations.
“Due to virus mutations, concerns are now being expressed for youth and children as well, amid the second wave,” Modi told district collectors and field officials of 10 states.
“So far, our strategy, the way you have worked in the field, has helped to prevent this concern from becoming serious, but we have to be more prepared for the future,” he said.
Therefore, the Prime Minister said, “Sabse pehla kaam aap kar sakte hain ki apne zile mein yuvaon, bachchon mein sankraman or uski gambheerta ke aankde vyavasthit karein, alag se us par regular aap analysis keejiye (The first thing you could do is collect data on transmission and its severity among youth and children in your district, and analyse them on a regular basis).”
“Mera sabhi adhikariyon se agrah hai ki aap svayam bhi uska aankalan kijiye; iss se aage ke liye taiyyari karne mein madad milegi (I urge all officers to make an assessment yourself; this will help you in preparing for the future.)”
While there is no significant shift in the incidence of Covid-19 infection towards younger individuals, the Health Ministry has for the first time come out with a clinical management protocol for children.
Last month, ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava had said that only a marginally higher proportion in the younger age group had been affected after various activities were opened up: the 0-19 age group formed 5.8 per cent of infections in the second wave compared to 4.2 per cent in the first; for the 20-39 group, these numbers were 25.5 per cent and 23.7 per cent respectively.
Thursday’s meeting was the second time this week that the Prime Minister interacted with district officials. In his 20-minute speech, he emphasised that given the mutation of the virus, methods and strategies to deal with the outbreak should also remain dynamic.
“Constant change in our methods of dealing with the epidemic, constant innovation, and relentless upgradation are very important,” he said.
“Ye virus mutation mein, swaroop badalne mein maahir hai. Ek prakaar se bahurupiya bhi hai, aur ye virus dhoort bhi hai. Toh hamaare tarike or strategies bhi dynamic hone chahiyen. (The virus is an expert at mutating and changing its form. In a way it is an impostor, and it is cunning as well. Therefore, our methods and strategies should also be dynamic.)”
Warning against lowering the guard as the daily case count has been declining in the last few days, the Prime Minister said: “In the recent past…it is true that the active cases have started decreasing in the country, you must have also felt the change in your district compared to the pressure 20 days ago… But you have experienced in the last one and a half years that as long as this infection exists even on a minor scale, the challenges remain.”
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