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Ensure proper oxygen supply in rural areas: PM

New Delhi, May 15 (UNI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday chaired a high-level meeting to discuss the Covid-19 and the vaccination-related situation in the country and directed that a distribution plan for ensuring oxygen supply in rural areas should be worked out, including through the provision of oxygen concentrators.

The Prime Minister added that necessary training should be provided to health workers in the operation of such equipment and power supply should be ensured for the smooth operation of such medical devices.

Modi took serious note of some reports about ventilators lying unutilized in storage in some states and directed that an immediate audit of installation and operation of ventilators provided by the Centre should be carried out.

The Prime Minister added that refresher training for properly operating ventilators should be provided to healthcare workers if necessary.

Modi said India’s fight against Covid-19 has been guided throughout by scientists and subject experts and will continue being guided by them.

During the meeting, officials briefed the Prime Minister about the vaccination process and the state-wise coverage of 45+ population. The road map for future vaccine availability was also discussed. Modi directed the officials to work closely with states to ramp up the speed of vaccination.

The officials briefed the Prime Minister on the current Covid-related situation in the country, the PMO said in a statement.

Modi was briefed that testing has gone up rapidly in the country, from around 50 lakh tests per week in early March to around 1.3 crore tests per week now. They also informed the Prime Minister about the gradually decreasing test positivity rate and increasing recovery rate. It was discussed that cases that had gone over 4 lakh cases per day are now coming down as a result of the efforts by healthcare workers, state governments, and central government.

The officials gave a detailed presentation on the state and district level situation of Covid, testing, oxygen availability, healthcare infrastructure, vaccination roadmap.

Modi said that localised containment strategies are the need of the hour especially for states where TPR in districts is high. He instructed that testing needs to be scaled up further, with the use of both RT PCR and Rapid Tests, especially in areas with high test positivity rates.

Modi said that states should be encouraged to report their numbers transparently without any pressure of high numbers showing adversely on their efforts.

The Prime Minister asked for augmentation of healthcare resources in rural areas to focus on door-to-door testing and surveillance. He also spoke about empowering ASHA and Anganwadi workers with all necessary tools.

Modi asked for guidelines to be made available in easy language along with illustrations for home isolation and treatment in rural areas.

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