Decision to hike MSP for Rabi crops will ensure max remunerative price for farmers: PM Modi

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Amid a continued surge of Covid-19 cases in Kerala and Maharashtra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday stressed the need to ensure adequate testing across the country and genome sequencing to monitor emergence of virus mutants. Reviewing the Covid situation in the country, Modi said the entire ecosystem to ensure increased oxygen availability, including oxygen concentrators, cylinders and PSA plants, need to be rapidly augmented.

The states have been asked to maintain buffer stock of medicines in every district, an official statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said. Officials apprised the PM that around 58% of India’s adults have received the first dose and around 18% the second. 

“It was discussed that across the world, there are countries where the number of active Covid cases continues to remain high. Figures from states like Maharashtra & Kerala indicate that there can be no room for complacency. However, the weekly positivity was at less than 3% for the 10th consecutive week,” the statement said.

The prime minister was also briefed about the concentration of cases in a few geographies, districts with high test positivity as well as the week on week test positivity rate in the country. “The PM spoke about the need for constant genome sequencing to monitor emergence of mutants,” the statement said. Modi was informed that INSACOG,  a genome sequencing government consortium of laboratories, now consists of 28 labs across the country. This is also linked with a hospital network for clinical correlation. Sewage sampling is also done for genomic surveillance.

“The prime minister was apprised that states have been requested to share SARS COV2 positive samples with INSACOG regularly,” it said. Modi also reviewed the status of augmentation of bed capacity for pediatric care and augmentation of facilities supported under ‘COVID Emergency Response Package II’.

States asked to be on alertAccording to a statement from Prime Minister’s Office, states have been advised to redesign & orient primary care & block level health infrastructure in these areas to manage the situation.