India had defeated Covid last year together and the country can do it again, with the same principles but faster speed and coordination, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday during a review meeting regarding the status of preparedness to handle the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Various aspects related to medicines, oxygen, ventilators and vaccination were discussed during the meeting.
The PM stressed that there is no substitute to testing, tracking and treatment. Early testing and proper tracking remains key to reduce mortality, he added according to a government statement. He also insisted that all local administrations need to be proactive and sensitive to people's concerns.
"Reviewed preparedness to handle the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Aspects relating to medicines, oxygen, ventilators and vaccination were discussed. Like we did last year, we will successfully fight COVID with even greater speed and coordination," PM Modi said in a tweet after the meeting.
Meanwhile, addressing a press conference on Saturday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that he has apprised Union Health Minister about huge shortage of beds, oxygen, Remdesivir, and Tocilizumab" in the state. The Chief Minister also pointed about shortage of beds for Covid-19 patients in two main Central government-run hospitals - AIIMS and Safdarjung hospitals.
Several states, including Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, have red-flagged low oxygen reserves. In response to the desperate appeals, the Prime Minister on Saturday said "installation of approved medical oxygen plants should be accelerated".
While hospital beds continue to be a key concern with cases rising, PM Modi said "all necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability". The Prime Minister has also directed that additional supply of beds through temporary hospitals and isolation centres should be ensured.
India's caseload rose to 1.45 crore infections on Saturday as the country added 2.34 lakh fresh cases - highest single-day surge so far - to the tally. For the third straight day, India saw over 2 lakh fresh cases in a day; over 10 lakh cases have been recorded just in the last six days.