Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Comprehensively Reviews COVID-19

Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Dr. P.K. Mishra today chaired a high level review meeting to comprehensively review the COVID-19 preparedness and response.  The meeting focused on evidence based learning on management of cases across the Districts and States.  The meeting also discussed the stage of vaccine development and vaccine distribution plan.  The need for District Health Action Plans for long term management of various aspects of COVID was also discussed at the meeting.

The meeting was attended by the Cabinet Secretary, Member, NITI Aayog Dr. Vinod Paul, Principal Scientific Adviser and all concerned Empowered Action Group Convenors and Secretaries of concerned Departments.  It was noted with satisfaction that all Empowered Groups have worked very hard to achieve benchmarks in COVID management.  Principal Secretary to Prime Minister directed all concerned for an evidence based preparedness of all aspects of COVID-19 with active participation of Districts and States for effectiveness.

A presentation on the COVID status in India, ongoing strategic interventions and future challenges was given by Secretary Health. The presentation highlighted the status of States in terms of case trajectory, testing conducted, fatality & sample positivity duly also mentioning the districts of concern. The Secretary Health also discussed about the eVIN Platform focusing on the vaccine supply chain, beneficiary enrolment system and the delivery system once the vaccine is available.

Member, NITI Aayog made a detailed presentation on projections of cases based on various models. He also explained the ongoing efforts by the National Expert Group on vaccine administration for COVID-19. The overall landscape on vaccine research (both global and in India) was briefed.

Based on the many projections scenarios, the Principal Secretary directed all concerned to build on the knowledge and analysis that has been developed over the last few months to work out the Detailed Action Plan for the coming months.  The need for continuously upgrading and augmenting human resources, getting the right mix of testing for effective case management, contact tracing and isolation, uninterrupted oxygen supply and other medical equipments, were all discussed at length. Integration of AYUSH for prophylaxis and mitigation of syndrome was also discussed. The need for Psycho Social Care Facilities, Effective Behaviour Change communication system, strong district public health teams for surveillance, a data team, effective supply chain, livelihoods and social protection was also discussed.

The Principal Secretary to Prime Minister emphasized the need for continuous caution and prevention by maintaining two meter distance, use of mask and hand wash.  The care of elderly and the need to strictly follow the norms of physical distance and preventive measures was re-emphasized.  The concerted behaviour change campaign will again be taken up to re-emphasize that unlocking does not mean lowering our guard against infection.  The need to unlock, work and still follow the non-pharmacological preventive measures was strongly recommended.

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