Covid-19: PM Modi directs full preparedness for vaccine distribution

Our Bureau. New Delhi | Updated on October 17, 2020 Published on October 17, 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

India’s experience in conducting elections and handling disaster management should be put to use in managing Covid-19 vaccine delivery and administration and experts in all necessary domains, officials at all levels, including those at the village panchayat level, civil society movements and citizen volunteers should work in tandem make it vaccine administration successful, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday. 

Modi, who chaired a review meeting on Covid-19 pandemic situation and preparedness of vaccine delivery, distribution and administration, noted the steady decline in daily Covid-19 cases and growth rate. The number of active Covid-19 cases fell for the first time in almost two months below 8 lakh. As per the latest data on Saturday morning, the number of total active cases in the country was 7.95 lakh. 

While a little over 62,000 people tested positive to Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, nearly 71,000 recovered from the infection. As many as 837 peoples succumbed to the infection during the period, taking the total death toll to 1,12,998 since the first case reported in the country on January 30. 

The review meeting was attended by Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the government, K VijayRaghavan,  NITI Aayog Member (Health) Vinod K Paul, among others, an official statement said. 

Vaccine development in advance stage

Currently, three vaccines are in advanced stages of development in India, out of which two are in Phase II, and one is in Phase-III. Indian research teams are collaborating and strengthening research capacities in neighbouring countries, namely Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal and Sri Lanka. There are further requests from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Qatar and Bhutan for clinical trials in their countries, the statement said.

The Prime Minister is said to have told the meeting that the cooperation should be not restricted to the immediate neighbourhood; instead, India should reach out the entire world, with vaccines, medicines and IT platforms for vaccine delivery system. 

National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC), which prepared a detailed blueprint of vaccine storage, distribution and administration, in consultation with State governments and all other stakeholders, presented the same before the Prime Minister. 

Modi told the meeting that the entire process of vaccine storage, delivery and administration should have a strong IT backbone and the system should be designed in such a manner so as to have a lasting value to our healthcare system.

He also directed that keeping in view the geographical span and diversity of the country, the access to the vaccine should be ensured speedily. The Prime Minister stressed 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, and syringes.

The Prime Minister was also told that scientific studies have shown that the SARS-CoV2 virus isolated in the country is genetically stable and there is no major mutation in the virus.



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Published on October 17, 2020
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