Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday interacted with chief ministers over the COVID-19 situation in the country and stressed on local containment of the virus spread as well as ensuring minimum damage to livelihood while making strategies to deal with the surge in cases due to the Omicron variant.
In his remarks at the meeting, the prime minister underlined the importance of vaccination and the need to further accelerate the 'Har Ghar Dastak' programme to achieve 100 per cent vaccination coverage.
"We have vaccinated nearly three crore adolescents within 10 days and this shows India's potential and our preparedness to deal with this challenge," Modi said.
The prime minister said that vaccines made in India are proving their superiority all over the world.
"It is a matter of pride for every Indian that today India has given the first dose to about 92 per cent of the adult population. The coverage of second dose has also reached around 70 per cent in the country," he said.
Modi said the central and state governments must continue with pre-emptive, pro-active and collective approach followed so far in fighting the pandemic.
"The sooner we give precautionary dose to frontline workers and senior citizens, the stronger our healthcare system will become," he said.
Modi asserted that it is very important to safeguard the economy and livelihood of common people while framing Covid strategies.
"There should be minimum damage to the livelihood of the common people, economic activities, and the momentum of the economy be maintained. It is very important to keep these things in mind while making any (containment) strategy," Modi said.
"So it would be better to focus more on local containment," he added.
Modi said 130 crore people of India will surely emerge victorious from the coronavirus pandemic with their collective efforts.
The doubts that were there earlier about Omicron are slowly getting cleared now, he noted.
The Omicron variant is infecting the general public many times faster than the earlier variants, he added.
"We have to be alert, be careful, but we also have to take care that there should be no panic situation," Modi said.
"We have to see that in this festive season the alertness of the people and the administration does not fall short," he added.
The meeting came on a day India logged 2,47,417 new infections, the highest in 236 days, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,63,17,927, which included 5,488 cases of the Omicron variant, according to the Union Health Ministry data.
Home Minister Amit Shah and Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya also attended the meeting.
Fresh curbs have been imposed in various parts of the country to check the spread of the highly transmissible virus.
Reviewing the Covid situation at a high-level meeting on Sunday, Modi had called for ensuring adequate health infrastructure at the district level and accelerating the vaccination drive for adolescents in mission mode.
The precaution vaccination drive for healthcare and frontline workers, besides those over 60 years of age with comorbidities, has also started.
Vaccination remains among the most effective means to fight Covid, Modi had said.
The prime minister had said that a meeting with the chief ministers be convened to discuss state-specific scenarios, best practices and the public health response.