Covid-19 situation very grim in some states, PM Modi tells CMs; suggests 'Corona Curfew' and 'Tika Utsav'
New Delhi: During his virtual meeting with the chief ministers of states and union territories on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concern over the fast-changing Covid-19 situation in the country, stating that the situation is very grim in some states.“The coronavirus situation is becoming challenging again; it is more challenging in some states,” the PM told the CMs while noting that the country has crossed the peak of the first wave of coronavirus pandemic.The PM lamented the fact that the people have become complacent and much more casual. He also blamed the lax administration in some states for the rise in Covid-19 cases.“We need to fight the second surge in cases. Many states including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Punjab have crossed the first wave of the peak in Covid-19 cases. This is a serious concern. People have become complacent. In most states, the administration has also become relaxed,” the PM rued.The PM stressed that the focus should now be on micro-containment zones as the country had managed to put in place resources during the first wave of the pandemic.“We must concentrate on micro-containment zones. In places where night curfew has been imposed, I would urge to use the word 'Corona Curfew', to continue alertness about coronavirus. It will be better to start curfew timing from 9 pm or 10 pm till 5 am or 6 am,” the PM suggested.The PM stressed on the need to widen the scope of testing, stressing that “containing the human host is a way to contain the virus”.“We have resources and experience now; test-track-treat policy and Covid-appropriate behaviour will help bring down the infection peak,” the PM said. “There is a need to work on war footing again to fight Covid-19. Despite all the challenges, we have a better experience, resources and vaccine,” he added.The PM asked the chief ministers to take measures to bring down the positivity rate to below 5 per cent. “Our target should be contact-tracing 30 persons in 72 hours of someone testing positive for coronavirus,” Modi said.“I appeal to you all to stress on Covid-19 testing. Our target is to do 70 per cent RT-PCR tests. Let the number of positive cases come high, but do maximum testing. Proper sample collection is very important; it can be checked through proper governance,” he said further.“Today, the problem is that we have forgotten about Covid-19 testing and have moved to vaccination. We have to remember that we had won the fight against Covid-19 without a vaccine. We have to emphasise on testing,” the PM noted.The PM said during the discussion, the issue of the mortality rate was raised. “We have to make sure it remains as low as possible. We should have comprehensive data about patients illnesses etc. This will help save their lives,” the PM told the CMs.The PM also suggested that the eligible people should come forward to get vaccinated against Covid-19. “11th to 14th April can be observed as 'Tika (vaccination) Utsav' for Covid-19 vaccination,” the Prime Minister said, adding that jabs should be given to maximum eligible people during this festival.Meanwhile, amid criticism of the Central government for not lowering the age criterion for receiving the jab and over an alleged shortage in vaccine supply, the PM defended his government and pointed out that India's criteria for vaccination is no different from those applied by most prosperous countries.“We will have to prioritise,” he said categorically, adding that “those who want to do politics may do so, I don't want to speak on this”.“We need to prioritise (vaccine distribution) with what we have. We won't get the result by keeping vaccines in one state. It is not right to think in this way. We have to manage by thinking about the country,” he stated.The PM asserted on the cooperation between states and the Centre to defeat the pandemic. “We should work together to win over the pandemic,” he told the CMs.The PM suggested all-party meetings in states and involvement of Governors, celebrities and other noted persons to push Covid-appropriate behaviour.“Once again we need to raise awareness about the importance of wearing a mask and following Covid-19 safety protocols.