Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday chaired a high-level meeting amid the massive surge in coronavirus cases in the country, where he said that localised containment strategies were the need of the hour.
Modi instructed officials to scale up testing in places with high positivity rates. “States should be encouraged to report their numbers transparently without any pressure of high numbers showing adversely on their efforts,” the Prime Minister’s Office quoted him as saying.
The prime minister also said healthcare resources in rural areas must be augmented to focus on door to door testing and surveillance. He added that a distribution plan must be created to ensure oxygen supply to rural areas.
The spread of the coronavirus in rural India has caused alarm among health experts.
Modi also took note of reports that ventilators were lying unused in some states. He ordered an immediate audit of the installation and operation of ventilators provided by the Centre to the states.
India has been battling a ferocious second wave of the coronavirus, with hospitals across the country struggling with acute shortages of oxygen, beds and medical supplies.
On Saturday, India recorded 3,26,098 new coronavirus cases, taking the total count of infections to 2,43,72,907 since the pandemic broke out in January last year. The country’s toll rose to 2,66,207 as it registered 3,890 deaths in the last day.
As many as 3,53,299 patients recovered from the infection in the last day, taking the total number of recoveries in India to 2,04,32,898. The number of active cases in India stood at 36,73,802 on Saturday morning, comprising 15.07% of the total infections.