PM Modi concerned over Covid curves in 6 states, CMs seek more vaccines


The steady rise in Covid-19 cases in states like Maharashtra and Kerala was “a matter of grave concern” for the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday.

States that are witnessing a rise in infections must take proactive steps to thwart the possibility of a third wave of the pandemic, he said.

“All of you are aware that we are currently at a juncture where the third wave is constantly being feared,” Modi told the Chief Ministers of six states — Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Odisha — during an online interaction on Covid-related issues.

“The way the number of cases had come down in most states across the country, some relief was felt… Experts were hopeful that soon the country will come out completely from the second wave. But the increasing number of cases in some states still remains worrisome,” he said.

Eighty per cent of new infections and 84 per cent of Covid-related deaths during the past week had come from these six states, the Prime Minister said.

Union Health Ministry data show that these states account for 3.37 lakh out of the 4.30 lakh — 78 per cent — active Covid cases in the country as of Friday.

The Prime Minister advised the states to focus on the “tested and proven” strategy of test, track, treat, and tika (vaccine). He also asked the Chief Ministers to deploy a senior officer to ensure completion of the commissioning of Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen plants in mission mode in 15-20 days.

Modi expressed concern over the pictures of Covid-inapproriate behaviour coming from across the country, and said that “We have to be mindful (sajaag), alert (satark) and strict (sakht) to prevent crowding in public places”.

An official statement issued after the meeting said the Chief Ministers had briefed the PM on the progress of vaccination in their states and the steps being taken to contain the spread of the virus.

In Mumbai, a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Secretariat said Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had urged the PM to formulate a national policy to stop crowding due to religious, social, and political gatherings.

“…Not just in Maharashtra but everywhere people are stepping out of their houses and crowding at various places.

The revenge tourism and revenge shopping have started leading to crowding. The religious and political gatherings have also led to crowding. While the state is making all efforts to stop the crowding, a comprehensive policy should be formulated at the national level,” the statement quoted Thackeray as having said.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan asked for adequate supplies of vaccines to the states considering his government’s special vaccination plans for tribals, those who are bed-ridden, and inmates of old-age homes. The state demanded 60 lakh doses for the months of July and August.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin said the allocation for Tamil Nadu was smaller than many other states, he said, and requested the Prime Minister to facilitate the supply of 1 crore vaccines immediately.