India

Covid-19: PM cautions against complacency; no major mutation in virus, says PMO

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today reviewed the Covid-19 pandemic situation in the country and the preparedness of vaccine delivery, distribution, and administration. The meeting was attended by Union health minister Harsh Vardhan and other senior officials.
He called for speedy access to the vaccine, once ready, and for development of a delivery system on the lines of conduct of elections, involving all levels of governments and citizen groups.
PM Modi directed that every step in the logistics, delivery, and administration should be put in place rigorously. It must include advanced planning of cold storage chains, distribution network, monitoring mechanism, advance assessment, and preparation of ancillary equipment required, such as vails, syringes etc.
PM Modi also emphasized on the participation of States and UTs, and district level functionaries, civil society organisations, volunteers, citizens, and experts from all necessary domains in the vaccine distribution process. The process should have a strong IT backbone and the system should be designed in a manner so as to contribute a lasting value to our healthcare system.
The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC), in consultation with state governments and all relevant stakeholders, have prepared and presented a detailed blueprint of vaccine storage, distribution, and administration.
In a statement, the PMO said two pan-India studies on the Genome of SARS-CoV2 (Covid-19 virus) conducted by ICMR and Department of Biotechnology (DBT) suggest that the virus is genetically stable and there is no major mutation in the virus.
It further said three vaccines are in advanced stages of development in India, of which two are in Phase II and one is in Phase-III of trials.
Indian Scientists and research teams are collaborating and strengthening the research capacities in neighbouring countries such as Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal and Sri Lanka, it added.
PM Modi noted the steady decline in the daily Covid cases and concluded by cautioning against complacency at the decline and keeping up efforts to contain the pandemic. He insisted on continued social distancing, Covid appropriate behaviour such as wearing the mask, regularly washing hands and sanitation etc. especially in the wake of upcoming festival season.

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