NEW DELHI: Highlighting the critical role of vaccination against Covid-19, PM Narendra Modi on Tuesday said continuous efforts are being made to ramp up vaccine supply and attempts are on to provide states 15 days’ advance schedule of the inoculation programme to enable scheduling of the shots.
The PM’s remarks during an interaction with district magistrates — also attended by several chief ministers — point to the Centre’s efforts to make vaccine supplies more predictable as currently states are often dealing with 3-6 days of stocks, leading to uncertainty over how many people can be inoculated. “This way states will know in each district how much vaccine will be available for how many people and enable the administration to plan for the same,” he added.
Government experts and officials have said vaccine supplies will improve in June and will flow much more freely in July. The PM also asserted that district authorities have a key role in preventing vaccine wastage and efforts in this regard will enable “optimum utilisation” of the vaccine. The PM’s remarks came during a virtual interaction with field officials from states and districts on their experience in handling the Covid-19 pandemic.
Modi said getting vaccinated is instrumental to lowering severity of the disease and reducing hospitalisations and mortalities. Modi said all efforts should be made to collectively quell myths and misconceptions people may have to counter vaccine hesitancy. “Constant efforts are being made to increase the supply of the vaccine on a big scale,” the PM said. The health ministry is working on streamlining arrangements and processes linked to vaccination.
Describing district officials as “field commanders” in the fight against Covid-19, Modi emphasised that “localised containment zones, aggressive testing and sharing correct and complete information with people are weapons to defeat it”.
People’s convenience increases when information like bed availability for the sick or the vaccine stocks are easily available, Modi said and also asked officials to curb black-marketing and take strict action against those who do so.
Noting coronavirus infections are decreasing in some states and increasing in others, he emphasised the need to be more vigilant and underlined that the fight is about saving every single life. The PM asserted that the focus should be in rural and inaccessible areas. He requested the officials to make relief material easily accessible to the rural population.
“You understand the challenges of your district much better. So when your district wins, the country wins. When your district beats Corona, the country defeats Corona,” the PM said.
Work is being done rapidly to install oxygen plants in hospitals in every district of the country through “PM-Cares Fund” and these plants have already started functioning in many hospitals, he said. Modi asked them to compile the best practices and innovative steps so that these may be used in other districts of the country.
The meeting was also attended by the home minister, defence minister, health minister, chief ministers of various states, member (Health) NITI Aayog, health secretary, pharmaceutical secretary and other officers from PMO, ministries and departments of central government.