New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has told the district collectors across India in absolute terms that the onus of responsibility for managing the COVID-19 situation at the ground level in terms of enforcing regulations and protocols and ensuring supplies, both essential and medical, lies with them.
The Prime Minister, through video conferencing on Tuesday 18 May, was interacting with field officials from States and Districts regarding their experience in handling the Covid-19 pandemic.
Addressing the officials, the Prime Minister appreciated the dedication and perseverance shown by the nation’s healthcare workers, frontline workers and administrators during these difficult times, and urged them to continue working with similar vigour.
The Prime Minister said that every district in the country is different and has its own unique challenges. He told the district officials, “You understand the challenges of your district much better. So when your district wins, the country wins. When your district beats Corona, the country defeats Corona.” He commended the officials who were working without taking any leave in spite of contracting COVID-19. He added that they are inspiration to many and he understands the sacrifices made by them.
The Prime Minister said that all the officials have a very important role in this war against Corona like a field commander. He remarked that Local containment zones, aggressive testing and sharing of correct and complete information with the people are the weapons against the virus. At this time, the number of corona infections is decreasing in some states while it is increasing in several other states. So, he stressed on the need to be more vigilant in the face of decreasing infections. He emphasized that the fight is to save every single life and the focus should be in rural and inaccessible areas. He requested the officials to make the relief material easily accessible for the rural population.
The Prime Minister advised the officials also to ensure ease of living of every citizen in their district. He stressed on the need to stop thr infection from spreading and at the same time ensure unhindered flow of essential supplies. He informed that work is being done rapidly to install oxygen plants in hospitals in every district of the country through PM CARES Fund and these plants have already started functioning in many hospitals.
The Prime Minister spoke about the importance of getting vaccinated and how it is instrumental to lowering the severity of the disease and reducing hospitalisation and mortalities. He said continuous efforts are being made to increase the supply of Corona vaccine on a very large scale. He added that the Health Ministry is streamlining the system and process of vaccination. Attempts are being made to give a schedule of the next 15 days to the states in advance. He stressed on the need to stop vaccine wastage. He said the convenience of the people increases when information of bed availability and vaccine availability is made available to the public. In the same way, black marketing should be curbed and strict action should be taken against those who do so. He also talked of the need to mobilise the front-line workers by keeping their morale high.
The Prime Minister commended the way villagers were maintaining social distance. He said villagers grasp the information and modify it according to their needs. This is the strength of villages. He added we must adopt best practices against coronavirus.
During the interaction, the officials thanked the Prime Minister for leading the fight against the second wave of Covid from the front. The officials shared their experiences and apprised the Prime Minister about the innovative steps that were undertaken to manage the recent surge of cases. They also informed about the efforts being undertaken to augment the medical infrastructure and capacity building in rural areas. The Prime Minister asked the officials to compile the best practices and innovative steps so that these may be used in other districts of the country.
The meeting was attended by the Home Minister, Defence Minister, Health Minister, Chief ministers of Various states, Member (Health) NITI Aayog, Health Secretary, Pharmaceutical Secretary, and other officers from PMO, Ministries and Departments of Central Government.