INDIA. Delhi: COVID -19 tally in India crossed 1.29 crore, making it the third worst hit after the USA and Brazil, said the Union health ministry. Recording a new high, India logged 1,31,968 infections in the last 24 hours. This is a much steeper surge than last year’s first wave and has forced many states to impose tighter curbs. On 8 April 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a meeting of chief ministers stressed the need for creating micro-containment zones and extensive testing as a means to combat the 2nd wave of Coronavirus. During the meeting, Modi suggested observing a Tika Utsav (Vaccine Festival) from 11-14 April, and celebrate the birth centenary of JyotiBa Phule Ji.
“The world has also accepted the night curfew. Curfew makes people remember that they are living in the age of Corona. It is good that we promote night curfew as ‘Corona Curfew’. This will not affect work too much,” the Prime Minister said.
Setting a target of 70 percent RT-PCR tests for the states, PM Modi said this is the only way to identify and fight the virus.
“Proactive testing is very important… Now during the 2nd wave, more cases are asymptomatic. People feel that they have some mild pulmonary disease and then they infect the whole family,” he said, adding, “Testing and tracing is the most important thing right now and we have to bring the positivity rate below 5 percent”.
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Ten states including Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Kerala and Punjab have shown a steep rise in the daily Covid-19 cases accounting for 84.21 percent of the new cases. Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee did not attend the virtual meeting with Prime Minister Modi. Banerjee said will be busy campaigning for the ongoing Assembly elections in the state, the sources said.
Deplorable attempts by some state governments
Meanwhile, Union Health Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan deplored attempts by some state governments to distract attention from their failures and spread panic among people. He was concerned about the statements made by a section of political leaders asking to open up vaccination to everyone above the age of 18 or to drastically lower the minimum age criteria for vaccination eligibility. The Government of India has been frequently and transparently updating all the State governments about the demand-supply dynamics and the resultant vaccination strategy that has been adopted.
Dr. Vardhan, “At a time when the country is witnessing a fresh wave of rising COVID-19 infections, I am alarmed to note the fact that many State governments have failed to take appropriate response measures and apply the lessons that the nation has learned over the past year of handling this pandemic.”