NEW DELHI: Concerned over the rise in coronavirus cases in some north east states, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has called a special meeting on Wednesday to review covid preparedness and vaccine rollout in the seven Northeast states and Union Territories.
Officials said that the first-of-its-kind meeting for North-East states has been called after the ministry noticed a spike in a few states in the Northeast and in UTs such as Chandigarh.
Officials told New Indian Express that the meeting has been called to address the concerns about the spread of the Covid-19 virus and its variants especially in far flung areas in the Northeastern region of the country.
“In parts of the North East, it was noticed that vaccination was moving at a slow rate for several reasons, one of them being inaccessibility of far-flung areas. The meeting has been called to sort out logistical issues and deal with other such issues and to ensure faster rollout of vaccines in these regions,” a senior MHA official said.
The official added that logistical problems in administering vaccines were also reported from parts of UTs such as Andaman and Nicobar, and Lakshwadeep.
The Union Home Secretary, Ajay Bhalla, will chair the high-level meeting with the country’s top brass involved in dealing with the second surge of the pandemic - NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul, Rajesh Bhushan the Union Health Secretary, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) DG Dr Balram Bhargava, Sujeet Singh, director of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and chiefs of several other departments.
Health officials from these states and UTs, who have also been asked to attend the meeting and have been asked to prepare presentations from their respective areas detailing the present Covid-19 and the status of their vaccination programs.
The meeting is likely to be held through video conference.
The meeting comes in the backdrop of the Union health ministry sending six special teams to states with high case load, including parts of the North east--Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura, last week. The MHA, which is also the custodian of the Disaster Management Act (DMA) will also ask these states and UTs to properly implement the act during various stages of the unlock process, sources said.