PM Modi warns against complacency before COVID-19 vaccine — asks states to begin work on cold storage facilities
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- Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation today, highlighting that carelessness ahead of the festive season led to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the country.
- In discussion with chief ministers across the country, Modi revealed that no final agreements are in place for procuring the vaccine as discussions are still ongoing and called on them to form teams at a state and block level to help with distribution and cold storage.
- Modi also warned that while there was the likelihood of a COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon, Indians should remain vigilant and adhere to prevention guidelines to limit the spread of infections.
“We can’t shift on to the vaccine immediately. The work that has to be done will be done. Meanwhile, the country will still be suffering from COVID-19,” said Modi addressing the country's chief ministers.
Vaccine safety is crucial
Modi highlighted that while the government is in touch with manufacturers and developers of the COVID-19 vaccine, there are still many undecided aspects like the number of doses required per patient and the price at which the vaccine will be made available.
His remarks come after the CEO of India’s largest manufacturer of vaccines, the Serum Institute of India’s (SII) Adar Poonawalla, revealed that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is like to be offered to the government for ₹222 a pop and the vaccine, with two doses, and will cost private individuals ₹1,000.
“Our priority is to make the vaccine available for all. All states should put in place necessary mechanisms, including those required for cold storage,” said Modi. While it’s going to be till mid-December before the first results of the Oxford vaccine clinical trials in India will be published, national-level teams are ready for distribution.
However, he did ask for task forces and steering committees to be set up at district or block levels to complete the chain.
“Safety is as important as speed for us, whichever vaccine India will give to its citizens will be safe on all scientific standards. Vaccine distribution strategy will be chalked out in collective coordination with states. States must also start working cold storage facilities,” Modi added.
Modi's bid to keep positive cases and fatalities low
To keep the COVID-19 infection at bay, Modi proposed that rather than discuss issues on a national scale, we should discuss them at a local level to address these problems faster.
He also propagated that RT-PCR testing should be increased and that those quarantined at home need to be monitored better.
So far, India has reported 91.8 lakh confirmed COVID-19 cases with the tally of active cases at 4.4 lakh with 1.34 lakh patients dead. In his request to the public, Modi outlined the aim of bringing the country’s fatality rate down to 1%, and the share of positive cases should remain under 5%.
Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as of 8:00am on 24 November 2020
|COVID-19 fatality rate||1.46%||Under 1%|
|COVID-19 positivity rate||4.78%||Under 5%|
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