Assam CM Himanta demands more vaccines at PM video meet; assures positivity rate will drop below 1% soon | India News – Times of India


GUWAHATI: Even though a low rate of vaccination continues to be a matter of concern for the northeastern states where many parts recorded a late surge in positive cases, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and other chief ministers of the region received praise from the Prime Minister for their efforts to combat the virus during a video meet on Tuesday.
PM Modi lauded Sarma’s efforts to tackle the second wave, without announcing a statewide lockdown but with micro-containment zones with greater accountability on supervisors at the micro zones identified in areas with more Covid cases. Sarma, however, raised the demand for more vaccines for Assam as the inoculation drive is failing to pick up in the state despite the third wave threat looming large. Chief ministers of eight northeastern states, including Sikkim, attended the video-meet on the Covid-19 situation.
Sarma highlighted the importance of containing the pandemic in the tea garden areas of the state and informed the PM on the efforts taken to vaccinate the garden population at the earliest along with other measures. He also informed him about the status of medical oxygen production, ICU beds, oxygen beds and isolation wards for Covid-19 treatment.
The chief minister said the Assam government has followed the ‘Testing-Tracking-Treatment’ strategy of the Prime Minister and managed to contain the pandemic by declaring more than 6,000 micro-containment zones without going for a total lockdown. “Both the economy and Covid fight were sustained simultaneously,” Sarma said, exuding confidence that Assam’s positivity rate would be brought down below 1% at the earliest.
Three districts of Assam have been put under lockdown recently.
Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh presented the overall preparedness of the state government towards Covid management. Biren expressed his gratitude to the PM, Union home minister Amit Shah and others for their priceless support and cooperation during this crucial phase. The Covid situation in Manipur remains alarming as the average daily positivity rate continued to be over 10%. On July 8, the positivity rate hit 19.11% in Manipur. The state government has begun a door-to-door campaign across Manipur for Covid tests.
In his brief on the fight against the virus, Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb stressed on the success of the vaccination drive in the state. The government, he said, has imposed restrictions in public life and on gatherings. Stringent measures have been undertaken to ensure people follow Covid-appropriate behaviour, Deb stated.
While appreciating the efforts of the Tripura government, the PM assured to extend all help to the state to manage the hurdles that may arise post-Covid.
On the other hand, Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga apprised Modi of the requirement of more doses of Covishield to speed up the inoculation process and also expressed the need for improvement in oxygen infrastructure to tackle a possible third wave.
Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma also expressed concern before Modi that the low rate of vaccination was the major worry even though the overall Covid-19 positivity rate has come down below 10% in the state, except for two districts. “The biggest concern is the vaccination drive as we are still below the national average. We have taken up the vaccination drive on a mission mode,” Sangma said.
“We have asked MLAs, MDCs and civil society leaders and religious leaders to help and contribute towards enhancing the vaccination drive and we have seen positive results in the last few days. If the state is able to intensify the drive by up to 20,000 to 25,000 vaccinations per day, we can complete the mission by the end of September or early October,” he added.
While Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio expressed his gratitude to Modi for his personal concern for the states in the northeast, his Arunachal Pradesh counterpart Pema Khandu thanked Modi for the Covid package of Rs 23,000 crore to strengthen the fight against the virus.
Referring to the recent Cabinet approval of Rs 23,000 crore-package for improving healthcare infrastructure for testing and treatment, Modi said the package will help in strengthening the health infrastructure. “This package will expedite testing, diagnostics, genome sequencing in the northeast,” the PM said.
Modi stressed on the need for quickly increasing the number of beds, oxygen facilities and paediatric care infrastructure in the region. The Prime Minister informed that hundreds of oxygen plants are being established in the country through PM-CARES and the northeast got about 150 plants.
Acknowledging the impact of the pandemic on tourism and business, the Prime Minister strongly cautioned against crowding at hill stations without observing precautions.
(With inputs from K Sarojkumar Sharma, Manosh Das, HC Vanlalruata and Biswendu Bhattacharjee.)





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