Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Tuesday chair a virtual meeting with the chief ministers of the eight worst Covid-hit states to review the coronavirus situation, sources say. The PM is expected to discuss with the states the cause for the surge in daily Covid numbers and the countermeasures planned to stem the virus’s growth, sources added.
PM Modi’s Covid review meeting with states, scheduled to start at 10:30 AM, will be conducted in two parts, sources said. In the first leg, he will interact with the chief ministers and lieutenant governors of the worst-affected states and Union Territories (UT); in the second, he will hold a general review with the chief ministers and L-G’s of all the states and UTs, where he is expected to discuss vaccine delivery, sources say.
The primary focus of the review meeting is likely to be the development of a mechanism for efficient delivery of vaccine and identification of priority beneficiaries, sources said.
India’s coronavirus tally on Monday crossed the 91 lakh-mark, with 44,059 fresh COVID-19 infections reported in a day.
Delhi, Kerala and Maharashtra continued to report the largest number of day-on-day COVID-19 cases in India. The national capital saw 6,746 fresh infections in a day, followed by Maharashtra and Kerala with about 5,200 to 5,700 cases respectively. West Bengal logged almost 3,600 cases followed by Rajasthan, which logged its highest numbers yet in the last 24 hours at 3,260.
The biggest worry for the Centre, however, is that many smaller states — including Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and Manipur — have shown a sudden rise in daily Covid figures.
Last month the Prime Minister called for “speedy access” of the vaccine to all members of the population and directed officials to keep in mind the “geographical span and diversity of the country” when planning logistics.
Two foreign vaccines have shown over 90% efficacy against the coronavirus in their multi-stage trials. However, there have been concerns over lack of infrastructure required to store and distribute them in India.
Both the vaccines require sub-zero temperatures for storage.
On Monday, AstraZeneca — a British company which has partnered with India’s Serum Institute — said that its COVID-19 vaccine could be around 90% effective. The combined analysis from both dosing regimens resulted in an average efficacy of 70%, the company said.
Adar Poonawalla, the Serum Institute CEO, told NDTV that around 40 million doses have already been produced and that the Centre would buy 90 per cent of these doses for Rs 250 or less.