States should report Covid numbers transparently: PM

at 3:58 pm
chief ministers
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (file pic)

New Delhi (NVI) Chairing a meeting to review the Covid situation in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the states should be “encouraged to report their numbers transparently” even as he pressed for localised containment strategies in states with high rate of positive cases.

“The Prime Minister took a serious note of some reports about ventilators lying unutilized in storage in some states and directed that an immediate audit of installation and operation of ventilators provided by the Central Government should be carried out,” an official release said.

He instructed that testing needs to be scaled up further, with use of both RT PCR and Rapid Tests, especially in areas with high test positivity rates, the release said.

Officials told the Prime Minister that testing has gone up rapidly in the country, from around 50 lakh per week in early March to around 1.3 crore tests per week now, it said.

They also informed the PM about the gradually decreasing test positivity rate and increasing recovery rate, it said.

“It was discussed that cases which had gone over 4 lakh cases per day are now coming down as a result of the efforts by healthcare workers, state governments and central government,” the release said.

“The PM said that states should be encouraged to report their numbers transparently without any pressure of high numbers showing adversely on their efforts,” it added.

This assumes significance as there is an impression in some quarters that the number of Covid cases and deaths caused by the pandemic are being under-reported.

The Prime Minister said that localised containment strategies are the need of the hour especially for states where Test Positivity Rate (TPR) in districts is high.

Talking in the context of rural areas, the Prime Minister asked for augmentation of healthcare resources in such places to focus on door to door testing & surveillance.

He spoke about empowering ASHA & Anganwadi workers with all necessary tools and said guidelines should be made available in easy language along with illustrations for home isolation and treatment in rural areas.

The Prime Minister directed that a distribution plan for ensuring oxygen supply in rural areas should be worked out, including through provision of Oxygen Concentrators.

Necessary training should be provided to health workers in the operation of such equipment, and power supply should be ensured for smooth operation of such medical devices, Modi added during the meeting, according to the official release.

Officials gave a detailed presentation on the state & district level situation of Covid, testing, oxygen availability, healthcare infrastructure, vaccination roadmap.

The Prime Minister added that refresher training for properly operating ventilators should be provided to healthcare workers if necessary.

PM said that India’s fight against Covid has been guided throughout by scientists and subject experts and will continue being guided by them.

Officials briefed PM about the vaccination process and the state-wise coverage of 45+ population. The roadmap for future vaccine availability was also discussed.

He directed officials to work closely with states to ramp up the speed of vaccination.