Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asked the Chief Ministers of all the states and UTs to work on developing the infrastructure required for the distribution of the Covid vaccine. The PM said that a proper channel should be in place for the smooth distribution among the 130 crore people. Without naming any leader, PM Modi said that while a few are doing politics over the vaccine, "the primary for should be on developing an infrastructure for its distribution".
Addressing the Chief Ministers after chairing a review meet, PM Modi asked them to share their feedback in writing on COVID-19 vaccine strategy. He said that no one can impose any view and all have to work together. "As a result of joint efforts, today India is in a better situation than other countries when it comes to recovery and fatality rates," he said.
He said that the target should be to bring the positivity rate below 5 per cent and fatality rate below one per cent. He also called for more RT-PCR tests.
He said that "we cannot tell when a vaccine will be made available". "It is up to the scientists who are working tirelessly to develop a vaccine."
He said that efforts are underway to make medical colleges, district hospitals sufficient in oxygen, adding that the PM Cares Fund used to supply ventilators.
"There is also a focus on making oxygen and ventilators available. We are trying to make the medical colleges and district hospitals self-sufficient in oxygen generation. Efforts underway to establish more than 160 oxygen generation plants in the country," he told the CMs.
"Carelessness crept in among some people in dealing with COVID-19, we now have to work to spread awareness again," the PM said.
On vaccine, the PM said that it has entered the last leg of testing. "Safety is as important as speed for us, whichever vaccine India will give to its citizens will be safe on all scientific standards. Vaccine distribution strategy will be chalked out in collective coordination with states. States must also start working cold storage facilities," he said.
The PM also saked the states to set up task force/steering committees at district or block level to prepare for COVID-19 vaccine programme.
Earlier today, PM Modi interacted via video conferencing with chief ministers of states that are witnessing a surge in coronavirus cases to review the COVID-19 situation. He also sought suggestions from the CMs for developing a strategy to distribute the Covid vaccine.
The Centre has been putting in place measures for quick and effective distribution of coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available.
As many as five vaccine candidates are in advanced stages of development. While four are in Phase II/III and one is in Phase-I/II trials. An estimated one crore frontline health workers will receive the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine whenever it becomes available, with around 92 per cent of government hospitals and 55 per cent of private hospitals across all states and UTs providing data identifying the workers, a PTI report said while quoting official sources.
India is the second-worst-hit by COVID-19 after the United States. According to the Union Health Ministry data, there are 4,38,667 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country. Nearly 1.34 lakh people have lost their lives.