Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that the government is keeping a close eye on COVID-19 vaccine development and clarified that the dosage and price of the vaccine were uncertain as of now.
“The government is keeping a close track of vaccine development. We are in touch with Indian vaccine developers and manufacturers. We are also in touch with global regulators, governments of other countries, multinational organisation and international companies. It is not certain whether there will be one, two or three doses of a vaccine. It is also not decided what will be the price of the vaccine. We still don’t have answers to these questions,” PM Modi said.
The Prime Minister was speaking to the chief ministers over the deteriorating pandemic situation in their states at a virtual meeting held today.
“It’s yet not decided which vaccine will cost how much. Though two India-based vaccines are at the forefront, we’re working with global firms also. Even after drugs being available for years, some people have adverse reactions. So a decision needs to be taken on a scientific basis,” PM added.
PM Modi advised the states to ‘establish cold storage facilities for COVID-19 vaccine’ beforehand and suggested them to prepare and send a plan for its distribution to the centre.
“I urge states to send detailed plans soon on how they plan to take the vaccine to the lowest levels. It will help us in making decisions as your (state) experiences are valuable. I hope for your pro-active participation. There should not be any room for carelessness during vaccine distribution,” PM Modi added.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan replied to PM Modi’s advice stating, “We are ready with cold chain storage facilities for the vaccine. Training of healthcare workers for administering vaccine is underway. As soon as we get the vaccine, vaccination will be started. Appeal to people to continue following all COVID19 guidelines.”
The Prime Minister also said that the COVID-19 vaccine for every citizen was a ‘national commitment’ and everyone should contribute to this mission.
Prime Minister asserted, “This mission of Coronavirus vaccination of each citizen is like a national commitment. Each State and stakeholder has to work as a team to ensure that this mission is systematic, smooth and a sustained effort.”
The Prime Minister said that the ratio of RT-PCR tests and monitoring of patients in isolation should be increased. He urged the chief ministers to share their feedback in writing on the COVID-19 strategy.
“Seeing good recovery rates, many think the virus is weak and they will recover soon, this has led to rampant carelessness. Those working on vaccine are doing it but we need to focus on ensuring that people are alert and transmission is curbed,” he said.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal are among those were present at the meeting, held via video conferencing.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, NITI Aayog’s Dr VK Paul, Cabinet secretary, and Health Secretary also attended the meet.
The Prime Minister had earlier chaired several meetings with chief ministers in the past six months over the pandemic.
India reported 37,975 new COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours and 480 deaths due to the disease, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday.
The total cases in the country now stands at 91,77,841 including 86,04,955 recoveries and 4,38,667 active cases. With 480 new deaths, the cumulative toll reached 1,34,218.
The country is reporting around 30,000 to 47,000- daily new cases for the past few days. (ANI)