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Prime Minister holds high-level meeting on Covid and vaccination-related situation, reviews preparedness on Cyclone ‘Tauktae’

WebdeskMay 16, 2021, 10:27 AM IST

Prime Minister holds high-level meeting on Covid and vaccination-related situation, reviews preparedness on Cyclone ‘Tauktae’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a high-level meeting here today to review the preparedness of States and Central Ministries/Agencies concerned to deal with the situation arising out of Cyclone ‘Tauktae’. India Meteorological Department (IMD) informed that Cyclone ‘Tauktae’ is expected to touch Gujarat coast between Porbandar & Naliya around 18th May afternoon /evening with the wind speed ranging up to 175 kmph. It is likely to cause heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of Gujarat, including extremely heavy falls in Junagadh & Gir Somnath and heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places in the districts of Saurashtra Kutch & Diu namely Gir Somnath, Diu, Junagadh, Porbandar, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Amreli, Rajkot, Jamnagar. IMD also warned of storm surge of about 2- 3 m above astronomical tide to inundate coastal areas of Morbi, Kutch, Devbhoomi Dwarka & Jamnagar districts and 1-2 meters along Porbandar, Junagarh, Diu, Gir Somnath, Amreli, Bhavnagar and 0.5 to 1m over the remaining coastal districts of Gujarat during 18th May afternoon/ evening around the time of landfall. IMD has been issuing three hourly bulletins since 13th May with the latest forecast to all the concerned States. It was discussed that Cabinet Secretary is in continuous touch with Chief Secretaries of all the Coastal States and Central Ministries/ Agencies concerned. Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is reviewing the situation 24*7 and is in touch with the State Governments/ UTs and the Central Agencies concerned. MHA has already released first instalment of SDRF in advance to all States. NDRF has pre-positioned 42 teams which are equipped with boats, tree-cutters, telecom equipments etc. in six States and has kept 26 teams on standby. Indian Coast Guard and the Navy have deployed ships and helicopters for relief, search and rescue operations. Air Force and Engineer task force units of Army, with boats and rescue equipment, are on standby for deployment. Seven ships with Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Units are on standby along western coast. Surveillance aircraft and helicopters are carrying out serial surveillance along the western coast. Disaster Relief teams (DRTs) and Medical Teams (MTs) are standby at Trivandrum, Kannur and other locations along western coast. Ministry of Power has activated emergency response systems and is keeping in readiness transformers, DG sets and equipments etc. for immediate restoration of electricity. Ministry of Telecom is keeping all the telecom towers and exchanges under constant watch and is fully geared to restore telecom network. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued advisory to the Sates/ UTs, likely to be affected, for health sector preparedness and response on COVID in affected areas. They have also kept ready 10 Quick response medical teams and 5 Public health response teams, with emergency medicines. Ministry of Port, Shipping and Waterways has taken measures to secure all shipping vessels and has deployed emergency vessels (Tugs). NDRF is assisting the State agencies in their preparedness for evacuating people from the vulnerable locations and is also continuously holding community awareness campaign on how to deal with the cyclonic situation. After review, the Prime Minister directed senior officers to take every possible measure to ensure that people are safely evacuated by the State Governments and to ensure maintenance of all essential services such as Power, Telecommunications, health, drinking water etc. and are restored immediately in the event of damages caused to them. He further directed them to ensure special preparedness on COVID management in hospitals, vaccine cold chain and other medical facilities on power back up and storage of essential medicines and to plan for unhindered movement of oxygen tankers. He also directed for 24*7 functioning of control rooms. He also said that special care needs to be taken to ensure that there is least possible disruption in oxygen supply from Jamnagar. He also spoke about the need to involve the local community for timely sensitisation and relief measures. The meeting was attended by Home Minister, MoS Home, Principal Secretary to PM,Cabinet Secretary, Secretaries of Ministries/ Departments of Home, Civil Aviation, Power, Telecom, Shipping, Fisheries, Members & Member Secretary of NDMA, Chairman, Railway Board, Director Generals of NDRF and IMD, and senior officers of PMO, MHA and IMD. PM chairs a high-level meeting on Covid and vaccination-related situation, says 'Localised containment strategies are the need of the hour' The Prime Minister chaired a high-level meeting to discuss the Covid and the vaccination-related situation in the country. Officials briefed the PM on the current Covid related situation in the country. PM was briefed that testing has gone up rapidly in the country, from around 50 lakh tests per week in early March to around 1.3 crore tests per week now. They also informed the PM about the gradually decreasing test positivity rate and increasing recovery rate. It was discussed that cases which had gone over 4 lakh cases per day are now coming down as a result of the efforts by healthcare workers, state governments and central government. Officials gave a detailed presentation on the state & district level situation of Covid, testing, oxygen availability, healthcare infrastructure, vaccination roadmap. PM said that localised containment strategies are the need of the hour specially for states where TPR in districts is high. The Prime Minister instructed that testing needs to be scaled up further, with use of both RT PCR and Rapid Tests, especially in areas with high test positivity rates. PM said that states should be encouraged to report their numbers transparently without any pressure of high numbers showing adversely on their efforts. PM asked for augmentation of healthcare resources in rural areas to focus on door to door testing & surveillance. He also spoke about empowering ASHA & Anganwadi workers with all necessary tools. PM asked for guidelines to be made available in easy language along with illustrations for home isolation and treatment in rural areas. The Prime Minister directed that a distribution plan for ensuring oxygen supply in rural areas should be worked out, including through provision of Oxygen Concentrators. The Prime Minister added that necessary training should be provided to health workers in the operation of such equipment, and power supply should be ensured for smooth operation of such medical devices. The Prime Minister took serious note of some reports about ventilators lying unutilized in storage in some states and directed that an immediate audit of installation and operation of ventilators provided by the Central Government should be carried out. The Prime Minister added that refresher training for properly operating ventilators should be provided to healthcare workers if necessary. PM said that India’s fight against Covid has been guided throughout by scientists and subject experts and will continue being guided by them. Officials briefed PM about the vaccination process and the state-wise coverage of 45+ population. The roadmap for future vaccine availability was also discussed. He directed officials to work closely with states to ramp up the speed of vaccination.

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