- This is the second straight day of meetings for the PM over Covid crisis
- PM Modi has a meeting with top pharma companies online today
- On Sunday, he reviewed the Covid crisis in Varanasi, his Lok Sabha seat
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday urged people to get vaccinated for the coronavirus, calling it the "biggest weapon" in the fight against the highly infectious virus. Speaking to doctors from across the country, he praised them, and medical staff, for their services in the pandemic.
The Prime Minister's appeal to people to get vaccinated came as the centre opened the next phase of vaccination - starting May 1 - to people over the age of 18.
The meeting with doctors was PM Modi's second Covid-related meet of the day; earlier he meet with leaders from the pharmaceutical industry, amid concerns over vaccine shortage as India battles a deadly second wave that has led to over two lakh new cases per day since April 15.
Numerous key decisions were taken during this morning's high-level meeting on vaccination.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 19, 2021
Together, we will defeat the COVID-19 global pandemic. https://t.co/Akv5dY8mI4
"Last year, during the same time, it was due to our doctors' hard work and the nation's strategy we were able to control the coronavirus wave. Now the country is facing a second wave... all doctors (and) our frontline workers are (again) confronting the pandemic with full force and are saving the lives of millions of people," the Prime Minister was quoted by news agency ANI.
PM Modi called on doctors to educate people about Covid treatment and prevention.
"It is very important people do not become a victim of panic. For this, with proper treatment, emphasis must also be placed on counselling of patients admitted in hospitals," he said.
Earlier he praised the pharma industry for making India the 'pharmacy of the world'.
Today was the second straight day of meetings for the Prime Minister; yesterday he reviewed the Covid situation in Varanasi, his Lok Sabha constituency, and met senior government officials to discuss the vaccine production situation in the country.
Last week PM Modi held multiple meetings to review the COVID-19 situation and, specifically, the supply of medical oxygen to bridge the demand-supply gap. Oxygen has become a key resource for doctors and hospitals, with a significant percentage of Covid-positive cases in this second wave reporting breathlessness as one of the symptoms.
At a review meeting comprising senior officials of several ministries, PM Modi suggested that the production of medical oxygen should be scaled up, a government statement said.
This morning India reported over 2.7 lakh new Covid cases in 24 hours, taking the active caseload to well over 19 lakh and the total number of infections (since the pandemic began in December 2019) to more than 1.5 crore. Over 1,600 people also died in the preceding 24 hours.
A number of states - Maharashtra, Delhi and Rajasthan among them - have imposed strict, but partial restrictions in an effort to get the situation under control.
Delhi will go into a lockdown from 10 pm tonight to 5 am next Monday amid a record rise in cases. The capital had earlier imposed a weekend curfew.
With input from ANI