Narendra Modi speaks to CMs, says quick action needed to stop 'emerging second peak' of COVID-19

The prime minister reiterated that RT PCR tests should make up for over 70 percent of overall coronavirus testing, while noting that states like Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Odisha have been mostly dependent on antigen tests

Press Trust of India March 17, 2021 15:34:36 IST
Narendra Modi speaks to CMs, says quick action needed to stop 'emerging second peak' of COVID-19

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. ANI

New Delhi Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday expressed concern over a rise in COVID-19 cases in parts of the country and called for "quick and decisive" steps to check the "emerging second peak".

In a virtual interaction with state chief ministers over the pandemic situation and the ongoing vaccination drive, Modi said in states like Maharashtra, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh the number of COVID cases has seen a rise while nearly 70 districts in the country have seen an increase in the positivity rate by over 150 percent of late.

"If we do not stop it here, then a condition for a nationwide outbreak may emerge," he said and called for quick and decisive steps to stop it.

The confidence brought by India's fight against the pandemic so far should not cause carelessness, he said and asked chief ministers to take measures, including more testing, enforcement of preventive measures as well as an increase in the number of vaccination centres to curb the virus.

People should not be put on panic-mode but need to ensure that they get rid of this problem as well, he said.

"Test, track and treat" should be taken as seriously now as it has been for over a year since the outbreak, he added.

The Prime Minister reiterated that RT PCR tests should make up for over 70 percent of overall coronavirus testing, while noting that states like Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Odisha have been mostly dependent on antigen tests.

Modi also spoke against the wastage of vaccines and called for more vaccination centres.

India has put up a strong fight against the coronavirus so far, and it is being cited as an example in the world, he said, asserting that the country's recovery rate is over 96 per cent and fatality rate among the lowest.

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Modi's address comes on a day when India has recorded its lowest coronavirus cases in 61 days, with 1 lakh new COVID-19 cases