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Need to protect rural areas from Covid second wave: Modi

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on May 18, 2021

Field officials in districts and States have a big role to play, says PM during vitual interaction

There is a need to protect our rural areas and far-flung places from the impact of Covid-19 during the second wave of the pandemic and field officials in districts and States have a big role to play in containing the infection in their local areas, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday.

During a virtual interaction with field officers from different States such as Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, among others, Modi described them as “field commanders” in India’s fight against Covid-19 and thanked them for leading the fight against the second wave from the front.

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Weapons at hand

Modi also told them that local containment, aggressive testing and correct as well as complete information about the infection are the best weapons to fight the pandemic, apart from vaccination. He said the government is doing everything possible to increase the availability of vaccines across the country. However, vaccine wastage is something that needs to be prevented.

The Prime Minister also exhorted the district officials to inform him about best and innovative practices adopted by them in their fight against Covid so that they can be adopted in other parts of the country if found suitable.

Modi advised the officials also to take care of the ease of living of every citizen of their district. In addition to stopping the infection they also need to ensure unhindered flow of essential supplies. He also urged them to curb black marketing in their regions, by taking strict action against those indulging in it.

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He said work is being done rapidly to install oxygen plants in hospitals in every district of the country through PM CARES Fund and these plants have already started functioning in many hospitals.

Covid numbers

Meanwhile, with States such as Kerala and Maharashtra reporting a good number of recoveries, the number of active Covid-19 cases in the country dropped to a little more than 33.5 lakh during the last 24 hours till Tuesday morning. During the same period, as many as 2,63,533 people tested positive for Covid 19 and 4,329 people succumbed to the infection, according to the data released by the Health Ministry Tuesday morning.

On Monday, Kerala reported close to 1 lakh recoveries while over 48,000 were declared Covid-negative in Maharashtra.

Currently India is only second to the US in terms of total highest Covid cases reported by any country in the world. In terms of total Covid-19 deaths, it is at the third position after the US and Brazil, according to the Covid-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU). The total number of Covid-19 deaths reported in India till date is 2,78,719.

Meanwhile, India has administered 18,44,53,149 vaccine doses, including 15,10,418 shots given in the last 24 hours. The number of Covid tests conducted on Monday stood at 18,69,223.

Published on May 18, 2021

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