Utilise all private, public facilities to ramp up vaccine production: PM Modi after review meet
New Delhi, Apr 17: As the daily COVID-19 cases surged to a staggering record-high level, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday reviewed the availability and supply of ventilators, oxygen and medicines to fight this pandemic and called for utilising the entire national capacity across private and public sectors to produce vaccines, amid concerns in various states about lack of these essentials.
Chairing a meeting to review the status of preparedness to handle the COVID-19 situation, Modi said local administrations needed to be proactive and sensitive to people's concerns. These remarks assume significance in the backdrop of reports of COVID-19 patients and their families accusing the authorities in several states of apathy in providing treatment.
Modi said there is no substitute for 'testing, tracking and treatment', and that early testing and proper tracking remain key to reducing mortality.
"Together India had defeated COVID-19 last year and India can do it again, with the same principles but faster speed and coordination," he said.
Directing officials to ensure close coordination with states, he said all necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for COVID patients and that additional supply of beds through temporary hospitals and isolation centres should be ensured.
He also spoke about a need to utilise the full potential of India's pharmaceutical industry to meet the rising demand of various medicines and reviewed the status of the supply of Remdesivir and other medicines.
On the issue of vaccination, the prime minister directed all officials to make efforts to utilize the entire national capacity, in the public as well as the private sector, to ramp up vaccine production.
Later in a tweet, Modi said, "Reviewed preparedness to handle the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Aspects relating to medicines, oxygen, ventilators and vaccination were discussed. Like we did last year, we will successfully fight COVID with even greater speed and coordination."
The meeting comes on a day India record single-day rise of 2,34,692 cases and 1,341 fatalities, pushing country's COVID-19 tally to 1,45,26,609 and the death toll due to the viral disease to 1,75,649. The number of active coronavirus cases in the country has surpassed the 16-lakh mark.
Registering a steady increase for the 38th day in a row, the tally of active COVID-19 cases has climbed to 16,79,740 in the country, accounting for 11.56 per cent of its total caseload, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has dropped to 87.23 per cent.