PM Modi holds meeting on Covid preparedness

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New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) Amid rising cases of coronavirus across the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday chaired a high-level meeting to review the status and the preparedness of public health response to Covid-19 and influenza.

During the meeting, he advised precaution and maintenance of vigilance, and also emphasised on the need to enhance lab surveillance and testing of all Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) cases.

PM Modi also called for ramping up of genome sequencing.

The Prime Minister also directed the Health Ministry officials to conduct mock drills in hospitals to ensure preparedness.

He underlined the fact that Covid-19 pandemic is far from over and there is a need to monitor the status across the country on a regular basis.

Modi advised continuance of focus on the five-fold strategy of Test-Track-Treat-Vaccination and Covid Appropriate Behaviour, enhancing Lab Surveillance and testing of all Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) cases.

He urged maintenance of hygiene standards and Covid appropriate behaviour.

In the meeting, PM Modi was briefed that India has been witnessing a slight rise in new cases with average daily cases reported as 888 and weekly positivity reported as 0.98 per cent in the week ending March 22, 2023.

However, 1.08 lakh daily average cases have been reported globally during the same week.

The action taken on the directions given by the Prime Minister during the last Covid-19 review held on December 22, 2022 were also discussed.

The Prime Minister was told that the availability and prices of 20 main Covid drugs, 12 other drugs, eight buffer drugs and one influenza drug are being monitored.

The meeting was attended by P.K. Mishra, principal secretary to the PM, V.K. Paul, member (Health) Niti Aayog, cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba, health secretary, director general of ICMR and other senior officials.

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