Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday reviewed the Covid-19 pandemic situation in the country and the preparedness of vaccine delivery, distribution, and administration as he called for speedy access to vaccines for citizens once ready.
Three vaccines are in advanced stages of development in India, out of which 2 are in Phase II and one is in Phase-III. Indian Scientists and Research Teams are collaborating and strengthening the research capacities in neighbouring countries viz., Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal and Sri Lanka. There are further requests from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Qatar and Bhutan for clinical trials in their countries. In an effort to help the global community, the Prime Minister further directed that we should not limit our efforts to our immediate neighbourhood but also reach out to the entire world in providing vaccines, medicines and IT platforms for vaccine delivery system.
National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC) in consultation with State Governments and all relevant stakeholders have prepared and presented a detailed blueprint of vaccine storage, distribution, and administration. The Expert Group in consultation with the States is working actively on vaccine prioritization and distribution of the vaccine.
PM Modi further directed that keeping in view the geographical span and diversity of the country, the access to the vaccine should be ensured speedily. The Prime Minister stressed that every step in the logistics, delivery, and administration should be put in place rigorously. It must include advanced planning of cold storage chains, distribution network, monitoring mechanism, advance assessment, and preparation of ancillary equipment required, such as vails, syringes etc.
He further directed that we should make use of experience of successful conduct of elections and disaster management in the country. The Prime Minister said that in a similar manner vaccine delivery and administration systems should be put in place. This should involve the participation of States, UTs, District Level functionaries, civil society organisations, volunteers, citizens, and experts from all necessary domains. The entire process should have a strong IT backbone and the system should be designed in such a manner so as to have a lasting value to our healthcare system.
Two Pan India studies on the Genome of SARSCoV-2 (Covid-19 virus) in India conducted by ICMR and D/o Bio-Technology (DBT) suggest that the virus is genetically stable and there is no major mutation in the virus.
The Prime Minister concluded by cautioning against complacency at the decline and keeping up efforts to contain the pandemic. He insisted on continued social distancing, Covid appropriate behaviour such as wearing the mask, regularly washing hands and sanitation etc. especially in the wake of upcoming festival season.