The meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief ministers of various states over the COVID-19 situation is currently underway. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal are among those are present at the meeting, being held via video conferencing.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, NITI Aayog’s Dr VK Paul, Cabinet secretary, and Health Secretary are also attending the crucial meet. According to Delhi Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), Kejriwal informed the Prime Minister that Delhi saw a peak of 8,600 COVID-19 cases on 10 November in the third peak.
“Since then cases and positivity rate are steadily decreasing. The high severity of the third wave is due to many factors including pollution,” he said in the meeting. Citing pollution as an important factor behind surge of coronavirus cases, Kejriwal also sought PM Modi’s intervention to get rid of pollution due to stubble burning from adjoining states, especially in view of recent bio decomposer. He also sought reservation of additional 1000 ICU beds in central government hospitals till the “third wave” lasts.
The Prime Minister had earlier chaired several meetings with chief ministers in the past six months over the pandemic. India reported 37,975 new COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours and 480 deaths due to the disease, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday.
The total cases in the country now stands at 91,77,841 including 86,04,955 recoveries and 4,38,667 active cases. With 480 new deaths, the cumulative toll reached 1,34,218. The country is reporting around 30,000 to 47,000- daily new cases for the past few days.
The Government of India has also decided to depute high-level Central teams to Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to support these States in COVID-19 response and management. These States have been either reporting a rise in the number of active cases i.e. those who are hospitalised or are in home isolation under medical supervision, or demonstrating a rise in the daily new cases, the Union Health Ministry said.
Earlier, the Central government had sent high-level teams to Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Manipur and Chhattisgarh. On November 20, the Prime Minister held a meeting to review India’s vaccination strategy and discussed important issues related to the progress of vaccine development, regulatory approvals and procurement with top officials.