PM urges states to ensure containment to avert a second Covid wave

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for concerted efforts to avert a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic through an expanded `Test, Track and Treat’ process and setting up of micro containment zones to curb the spread of the disease.

In an interaction with state chief ministers regarding the Covid-19 situation via video conference, the prime minister said the country cannot afford to have another wave of the pandemic that has already debilitated the people and the country’s economy.
The chief ministers thanked the prime minister for the smooth implementation of the vaccination drive all across the country, while also giving their inputs and suggestions to further expand the vaccination coverage.
The challenge of maintaining Covid appropriate behaviour in the general public was also discussed, in light of the recent rise in the number of cases in some states. The chief ministers agreed on the requirement of greater vigilance and monitoring of the situation.
Union home minister listed out the districts on which the chief ministers need to put special focus, in order to contain the spread of the virus. The union health secretary gave a presentation on the current Covid situation in the country and the vaccination strategy.
Addressing the chief ministers, the prime minister said that more than 96 per cent of the cases in India have recovered and India is having one of the lowest fatality rates in the world. He expressed concern about the high test positivity rate in Maharashtra and MP. 70 districts of the country witnessed 150 per cent rise in the last few weeks. He urged to stop this emerging "second peak" of Corona immediately and warned, “if we do not stop this growing pandemic now, then a country-wide outbreak can occur.”
For stopping this emerging "second peak" of Corona, the prime minister stressed the need to take quick and decisive steps. Noting that the seriousness of the local administration about the use of masks is going down, the PM called for addressing the governance problems immediately at the regional level. He warned that the confidence which came from our achievements in the battle against Corona should not turn into negligence. He further stressed that the public should not be brought to panic mode and at the same time also get rid of trouble. He stressed the need to strategise by incorporating our past experiences, in our efforts.
The prime minister said there is a need for creation of micro containment zones and even as he stressed the need to be serious about 'Test, Track and Treat'. He said it is very important to track every infected person's contacts in the shortest time and keep the RT-PCR test rate above 70 per cent. He insisted on more RT-PCR tests in states which give more emphasis to Rapid antigen tests like Kerala, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and UP.
The prime minister called for an increase in testing and on paying special attention to the "referral system" and "ambulance network" in small cities. He said this is because now the whole country has opened up for travel and the number of people travelling has also increased. He stressed on the need for a new mechanism for sharing information among themselves. Similarly, responsibility of following the SOP for surveillance of the contacts of the travellers coming from abroad have also increased.
He also pointed to the need for identifying mutants of coronavirus and assessing their effects. He lauded the continually increased pace of vaccination in the country and the vaccination rates crossing more than 3 million in a single day. At the same time, he warned against wstge of vaccine doses. He noted that the vaccine waste in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to the tune of  10 per cent. He urged to immediately correct the drawbacks of planning and governance at the local level to reduce vaccine wastage.