New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday reviewed the Covid-19 pandemic situation in the country and the preparedness of vaccine delivery, distribution, and administration.
The Prime Minister noted the steady decline in the daily Covid cases and growth rate. He further directed that the country should make use of experience gained in successful conduct of elections and disaster management for the vaccine delivery system.
Modi said that in a similar manner the vaccine delivery and administration systems should be put in place.
Three vaccines are in advanced stages of development in India, out of which 2 are in Phase II and one is in Phase-III. Indian scientists and research teams are collaborating and strengthening the research capacities in neighbouring countries – Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
There are further requests from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Qatar and Bhutan for clinical trials in their countries. In an effort to help the global community, Modi further directed that we should not limit our efforts to our immediate neighbourhood but also reach out to the wider world in providing vaccines, medicines and IT platforms for vaccine delivery systems.
National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC) in consultation with state governments and all relevant stakeholders have prepared and presented a detailed blueprint of vaccine storage, distribution and administration.
The Expert Group in consultation with the states is working actively on vaccine prioritisation and distribution of vaccines. The Prime Minister further directed that keeping in view the geographical span and diversity of the country, the access to the vaccine should be ensured speedily.
He stressed that every step in the logistics, delivery, and administration should be put in place rigorously. It must include advanced planning of cold storage chains, distribution network, monitoring mechanism, advance assessment, and preparation of ancillary equipment required, such as vails, syringes etc.
Modi said that it should involve the participation of states, UTs, district level functionaries, civil society organisations, volunteers, citizens, and experts from all necessary domains. The entire process should have a strong IT backbone and the system should be designed in such a manner so as to have a lasting value to our healthcare system.
Two pan-India studies on the genome of SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19 virus) in India conducted by ICMR and Department of Biotechnology (DBT) suggest that the virus is genetically stable and there is no major mutation in the virus.
The Prime Minister concluded by cautioning against complacency and keeping up efforts to contain the pandemic. He insisted on continued social distancing, Covid-appropriate behaviour such as wearing masks, regularly washing hands and sanitation etc especially in the wake of the upcoming festive season.
The meeting was attended by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Principal Secretary to PM, Member (Health) NITI Aayog, Principal Scientific Advisor, senior scientists, officers of PMO, and other departments of the government of India.