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Covid-19 – Essential Update: On 17th March 2021, Wednesday PM Modi held a review meeting with the Chief Ministers because of the coronavirus cases’ sudden spike. Today close to 29000 new infections were reported, and the graph of Coronavirus, though slowly, is ascending once again in India.
The Prime Minister pointed out that 70 districts in the nation see a surge of more than 150% in the virus’s new cases. Also, much stress was given to the problems occurring in the vaccination process in the review meeting.
Summary of PM Modi’s review meeting – Are we again marching towards a nationwide Lockdown?
Addressing the elephant in the room, there was no discussion on Lockdown in the coming future in the meeting. The meeting, chaired by PM Modi, consisted of the Chief Ministers and some Union Ministers, including the Home Minister Amit Shah. The meeting’s modus operandi was to discuss the surge in the infections of Coronavirus in the nation.
Several administrative measures were discussed in the meeting that is necessary to control the growth of the virus.
Here are some of the significant points that were brainstormed and discussed in the review meeting.
1. Micro-Containment Zones:
From December 2020, there was a sharp decline in the establishment of containment zones in India because of several administrative issues. Owing to the recent increase in coronavirus cases, PM Modi suggested that the Chief Ministers ensure the establishment of micro containment zones in the hotspots.
The addition of micro containment zones would help the state bodies to track and treat the patients effectively. Also, this step reduces the chances of a lockdown at a district level and simultaneously decreases the possibility of a future third wave.
2. The issue with Rapid Antigen Test and Emphasis on RT-PCR Tests:
In the review meeting held on Wednesday, the prime minister stressed the various testing methods for Coronavirus. PM Modi took a firm stand on the Rapid Antigen Test and urged the states like Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to avoid Rapid tests and use RT-PCR Tests for detecting potential patients.
The distinction between Rapid Antigen Test and RT-PCR Test creates confusion in the healthcare system.RT-PCR Tests are considered the most accurate methods to track coronavirus patients.
On the other hand, Rapid Antigen Tests focus on the symptoms and may produce inaccurate results for asymptomatic patients. Considering this factor, PM Modi urged all the Chief Ministers to incorporate RT-PCR Tests instead of the Rapid one.
3. Wastage of Vaccines & Increase in Vaccination Centres:
Though the vaccination process is in full swing and more than 25 lakh people are getting vaccinated per day, the wastage of doses is a severe concern.PM Modi pointed out the usage of a new lot of vaccines instead of the old one, the primary reason for the wastage of vaccines.
Such rampant usage leads to the storage of old vaccines, which leads to its expiry, and ultimately the vaccine gets wasted.
Furthermore, PM Modi insisted on incrementing the vaccination centres, especially in the rural areas, to speed up the vaccination process.
4. Genome Testing & Continuation of Safety Guidelines:
According to a Health Ministry report, there are three confirmed variants of Coronavirus in India.
Keeping in mind the probability of reinfection because of the new variant, PM Modi asked the CMs to ensure the suspected patients’ Genome testing. Genome testing is done to identify the strain of the Coronavirus.
Also, while concluding the meeting, PM Modi asked his state counterparts to propagate the message of ‘Dawai Bhi Aur Kadai Bhi,’ which translates to the strict following of safety guidelines, even after getting vaccinated.
Key Developments in the Covid-19 situation in India.
Maharashtra is facing the brunt of the Covid-19 virus the most.
On 16th March alone, more than 18000 new infections were reported in the state, which is currently the highest in India. The state capital Mumbai is one the worst affected city added 2000 new cases of Covid-19 to its increasing list of infections. And the curve is predicted to ascend, as per the Union Government’s report on the Maharashtra situation.
With the rapid increase in the cases, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation(BMC) has started to enforce stringent measures to curtail the virus’s spread.
Measures such as Lockdown in districts like Nagpur and Amravati, punishments on flouting the guidelines, shelving of attendance in schools, and orders to work from home are being undertaken to stop the spread before the peak.
To dodge the second wave of Coronavirus, states like Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have also decided to implement necessary measures.
States like Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat were on the verge of becoming Covid-19 free at the starting of 2021, but the situation turned the complete opposite.
Both states are currently witnessing significant spurts in infections. Night curfew has been imposed in Gujarat at- Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, and Surat to stop the sudden rise of infections.
And following the same pattern, Madhya Pradesh authoritative bodies also imposed night curfews in the cities seeing a surge in cases-Bhopal and Indore.
The negligence of the people of Punjab is turning out to be a nightmare for the state.
Punjab is getting affected by the wrath of Coronavirus from all sides- be it the new variant, high case fatality rate, and recent surge in infections. Various measures such as night curfews in 8 worst affected districts, fines on negligence are being undertaken to prevent further surges.