At a meeting with Chief Ministers of north-eastern states on Tuesday, PM Modi warned against lowering COVID -19 vigilance and repeated the mantra of ‘test, track and treat’. He reviewed the COVID -19 situation in Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim, Manipur, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram amid a surge in cases of the novel coronavirus in the Northeast. While lauding the efforts of these states in improving testing infrastructure and reducing vaccine wastage, he called for micro containment zones to curb the spread of COVID -19.
PM Modi remarked, ‘There are some districts in the Northeast where the number of cases is increasing. We need to take note of these signs. We need to be more cautious and warn people continuously. We need to take stringent measures at the micro level to prevent the spread of transmission. ‘Assam has chosen the path of micro containment. They have created more than 6000 micro-containment zones. This makes accountability possible,’ he added, quoting CM Himanta Biswa Sarma.
On the occasion, the Prime Minister came down hard on people who violated COVID -19 norms while visiting tourist spots. Noting that the spread of the new coronavirus cannot be considered in isolation, he urged CMs to convince people to follow all necessary protocols. Additionally, he argued that states need to closely monitor any variant of COVID -19. Moreover, he revealed that the North-Eastern states can benefit from the Rs.23,000 crore package recently approved by Union Cabinet to boost their health infrastructure, testing and genome sequencing. He also urged them to check the availability of oxygen and create more pediatric facilities. Stressing the need for aggressive testing in cluster blocks, PM Modi assured that the Centre will provide all possible help to ensure skilled manpower.
PM Modi opined, ‘Due to COVID -19, tourism, trade and commerce have been affected. But I would like to emphasize – crowds flocking to markets and hill stations without wearing masks and following protocols are worrisome and not right. Some people proudly declare that we want to enjoy before the onset of the third wave. It is important to convince people that the 3rd wave will not come on its own. Sometimes people question the readiness for the third wave. Today, the question must be how do we prevent the onset of the third wave? We need to continue to increase the pace of vaccination to combat the third wave. To fight vaccine fatigue, we need to engage people in social, cultural, religious and educational institutions in addition to celebrities. We need to make sure they spread the word. We also need to mobilize people,’ he said.