Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday met chief ministers from several states and Union Territories, which have been reporting rising cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The pandemic situation across these regions was dealt with in the first part and the strategy to distribute the vaccine against the coronavirus disease, once it is ready, was discussed in the second.
Union home minister Amit Shah, health minister Harsh Vardhan, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel and Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani joined the virtual meeting.
While the Prime Minister made the concluding statement and spoke about the vaccine plan ahead, some of the chief ministers informed Modi about the Covid-19 situation in their states.
Here’s who said what at the meeting:
Narendra Modi: While making a concluding statement at the end of the review meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said though a final plan cannot be charted yet, the states must start prepping for adequate delivery and storage facilities for Covid-19 vaccine. He also asked the chief ministers to send him potential strategies, especially regarding the vaccine, at the earliest. “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.
Amit Shah: The Union home minister asked the chief ministers of states experiencing Covid-19 spike to draw a strategy to ensure mortality rate due to the viral disease come down below 1% and the new cases must not exceed 5% of the existing level. Shah also told the chief ministers to make the containment zones in their states dynamic. Officials must visit the red zones every week and based on data collected, change the status of a particular area, he said.
Arvind Kejriwal: The Delhi chief minister informed Prime Minister Modi that the national capital, which is witnessing the third wave of Covid-19, saw a peak of 8,600 Covid-19 cases on November 10 after which the cases have been steadily declining, he said. Kejriwal added that pollution caused by stubble burning in the neighbouring states played a key role in the high severity of the third wave of Covid-19 in the city. He sought Modi’s intervention to come up with a solution to get rid of the pollution.
Uddhav Thackeray: Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray told the Prime Minister that the state has formed a task force to ensure distribution of the anti-coronavirus disease vaccine and executing the vaccination programme. Thackeray added that the state is in touch with Adar Poonawala, CEO of Serum Institute of India (SII), which has partnered with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19.
Manohar Lal Khattar: After the meeting, Haryana chief minister said that they have been told to make a strategy to make Covid-19 vaccines available to the general public. As it is not possible to vaccinate everyone at once in the first phase, the shot will be provided to healthcare personnel and people who need it the most. In the second phase, it will be made available for essential service providers and then there will be two phases in which there will be age-wise distribution, he said, according to news agency ANI.
Vijay Rupani: Gujarat chief minister said the Prime Minister made it clear that in the first stage, the vaccine will be given to the frontline health workers. In the second stage, it will be provided to police personnel, sanitation workers etc, to those above 50 years of age in the third stage and to those with comorbid conditions in the fourth.