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Need to stem Covid surge to prevent national outbreak, Modi tells states

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday told state governments and UTs to focus on enhanced RTPCR testing, COVID-appropriate behaviour, micro containment zones and expanded vaccinations to stem the current case surge lest there is a national outbreak.

In a virtual meeting with the CMs and L-Gs of UTs, the PM said 70 districts of the country had seen 150 per cent rise in new cases over the past few days and cautioned against the virus spreading to villages.

“If the disease spreads to tier 1 and tier 2 cities, day is not be far when it will also reach the villages. We do not have adequate capacities to address that kind of spread and we must remember we were able to win the war against COVID because we managed to keep our villages virus free,” the PM told the CMs asking them to aim at zero wastage of the vaccine and also ensure that vaccines with early expiry dates are exhausted before newly made batches.

“Maharashtra and Punjab have seen a surge. We are also seeing that in Maharashtra and MP, case positivity rate is very high and cases are rising phenomenally. Many unaffected districts are witnessing cases and some districts have seen a 150 per cent rise in cases. If we do not stop this pandemic surge we can face a national outbreak,” the PM said in plain speak to states with Maharashtra, Punjab and Kerala leading the national surge.

The PM said India’s fight against COVID had been cited as an example in the world with over 96 per cent cases having recovered and case fatality rates being the lowest in the world.

“Most COVID-affected nations have had to suffer several waves. We also have to stop the second emerging wave of COVID. Local administrations are not paying too much attention to masks. COVID-appropriate behaviours must be reinforced,” said the PM.

His suggestion to contain the pandemic surge was – ‘Dawai bhi, kadhai bhi’; enhanced RTPCR tests to catch new cases fast; micro containment zones to prevent transmission; expansion of vaccine centres; zero vaccine wastage and social and personal hygiene.

The PM hailed people for their cooperation in COVID response saying people’s participation and awareness was key to stemming the ongoing surge.

He advised states not to let self-confidence in the fight against COVID to convert into over-confidence and not to let success deplete into laxity.

Modi said it is time to be proactive and to go back to the thumb rule of test, track and treat.

The PM also urged states to expand vaccinations, an effective weapon against the virus.

CMs of West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and UP did not attend due to prior engagements as the meeting was called at a short notice.


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