Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in back-to-back meetings today, signaling that the government is in emergency mode as it battles an unprecedented surge in Covid cases with a record 2.73 lakh infections in a day.
The Prime Minister’s first meeting took place at around 11.30 am, hours after India crossed another grim milestone to report the highest ever surge in cases since the beginning of the pandemic last year.
Later today, PM Modi will also interact with top doctors from across the country via video conference at 4:30 pm. At 6pm, he will meet with top pharma companies online.
This is the second straight day of meetings for the Prime Minister over the Covid surge.
On Sunday, PM Modi reviewed the Covid situation in Varanasi, his Lok Sabha constituency, and stressed on the need for vaccination for people over 45 years of age.
According to a statement, PM Modi emphasised on implementing ”tracking, tracing and testing”, saying this has to be fully followed to check the virus’ spread in the same manner the first wave was curbed. The Prime Minister also asked the administration to ensure that preventive measures like social distancing and the use of masks are practised.
Days ago, PM Modi was also briefed about the efforts being made by the government to import medical grade oxygen to bridge the demand-supply gap amid the recent massive surge. At a review meeting comprising senior officials of several ministries, PM Modi suggested that the production of medical oxygen should be scaled up, a government statement said.
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba’s meeting with Chief Secretaries of states and other top officials is also underway on the oxygen crisis.
India also reported 1,619 deaths in a new record high today. The total caseload is now 1.5 crore; 1.78 lakh people have died so far. This is the fifth straight day that over 2 lakh cases were reported.
Maharashtra, Delhi and Karnataka saw the biggest single-day surge in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra logged 68,631 infections, Delhi reported 25,462 new cases while Karnataka saw a spike of 19,067 cases.
As the second – and more deadly – wave of coronavirus grips the country, several strict measures have been implemented, including curfews, across states to tackle the crisis.
Delhi will go into a lockdown from 10 pm tonight to 5 am next Monday amid a record rise in cases. The capital had earlier imposed a weekend curfew.
Maharashtra also announced tough restrictions till May 1 that include a ban on gatherings and only essential activities to break the chain of infection.