As COVID-19 cases rise across the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday held a virtual meeting on Friday with Chief Ministers of various states calling 'quick and decisive' steps to check the 'emerging second peak'.
Modi said in states like Maharashtra, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh the number of COVID cases has seen a rise while nearly 70 districts in the country have seen an increase in the positivity rate by over 150 per cent of late.
"If we do not stop it here, then a condition for a nationwide outbreak may emerge," he said and called for quick and decisive steps to stop it.
With the second wave of infections surging in Maharashtra and a moderate increase in many other states, the Centre has expressed concern over the alarming trend.
We will have to stop the emerging second peak of coronavirus immediately: PM Modi at the interaction with chief ministers.
India's fight against COVID cited as an example in the world, our recovery rate over 96 per cent & fatality among the lowest, he added.
The confidence brought by India's fight against the pandemic so far should not cause carelessness, he said. Modi also asked chief ministers to take measures, including more testing, enforcement of preventive measures as well as an increase in number of vaccination centres to curb the virus.
People should not be put on panic-mode but need to ensure that they get rid of this problem as well, he said.
'Test, track and treat' should be taken as seriously now as it has been for over a year since the outbreak, he added.
Modi also spoke against the wastage of vaccines and called for more vaccination centres.
States like Kerala, UP, Chhattisgarh overly dependent on antigen tests. PM Modi called for more usage of RT PCR tests and insisted to be used over 70 percent of overall testing.
India recorded its highest daily tally of coronavirus cases this year with 28,903 new infections, taking the total COVID-19 tally to 1,14,38,734, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.
Maharashtra is at the beginning of the second COVID-19 wave, a central team report has said, highlighting that there is very limited active effort to track, test, isolate cases and quarantine contacts, and there is no adherence to COVID appropriate behaviour among people in rural and urban areas.
Based on the central team report, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has written a letter to the Maharashtra government, stating "measures such as night curfews, weekend lockdowns etc. have very limited impact on containing/suppressing the transmission" and urged the state to focus on strict containment strategies, strengthening surveillance and augmenting testing.
(With agencies inputs)