Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday expressed concern over a rise in COVID-19 cases in parts of the country and called for "quick and decisive" steps to check the "emerging second peak".
In a virtual interaction with state chief ministers over the pandemic situation and the ongoing vaccination drive, Modi said in states like Maharashtra, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh the number of COVID cases has seen a rise while nearly 70 districts in the country have have seen an increase in the positivity rate by over 150 per cent of late.
"If we do not stop it here, then a condition for a nationwide outbreak may emerge," he said and called for quick and decisive steps to stop it.The confidence brought by India's fight against the pandemic so far should not cause carelessness, he said, and asked chief ministers to take measures, including more testing, enforcement of preventive measures as well as increase in number of vaccination centres to curb the virus.People should not be put on panic-mode but need to ensure that they get rid of this problem as well, he said.
"Test, track and treat" should be taken as seriously now as it has been for over a year since the outbreak, he added.The Prime Minister reiterated that RT PCR tests should make up for over 70 per cent of overall Coronavirus testing, while noting that states likes Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Odisha have been mostly dependent on antigen tests.Modi also spoke against wastage of vaccines and called for more vaccination centres.
Prime Minister also touched upon issues of governance when it comes to vaccine administration.
"Over 10% vaccine wastage in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Vaccine wastage in UP is almost the same. It should be reviewed in states that why vaccine wastage is happening.
Monitoring must be done every evening and pro-active people should be contacted so that there's no wastage.
"It is a matter of contemplation that why is there less testing in some areas only. Why is there less vaccination in these areas? I think it's a time of test for good governance. Our confidence should not turn into over-confidence. Our success should not turn into negligence. We don't have to bring the public into panic mode. We don't have to bring a situation where there is an atmosphere of fear. We have to free the people off difficulties by taking some precautions and initiatives," Modi further said.
India has put up a strong fight against the Coronavirus so far, and it is being cited as example in the world, he said, asserting that the country's recovery rate is over 96 per cent and fatality rate among the lowest.