‘If we relax after 1 billion doses...’: PM Modi's warning at Covid meet

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‘If we relax after 1 billion doses...’: PM Modi's warning at Covid meet

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday held a review meeting with senior officials from at least 40 districts that are seeing a significant lag in Covid-19 vaccination for adults. The Prime Minister hailed the hard work done by healthcare workers, but said this is not the time to relax. "The progress made so far is due to your hard work. Every member of administration, ASHA workers worked a lot. They walked for miles and took vaccination to remote locations. But if we become lax after one billion (doses), a new crisis can come," PM Modi said.

"They say one must never underestimate disease and enemies. They have to be fought against till the very end. So, I would want that we should not bring even a slight laxity," he added. The meeting was attended by several chief ministers. It was called to discuss situation with district magistrates (DMs) from districts where less than 50% of the adult population has received at least one shot of a Covid-19 vaccine, and also those ones that have very low second-dose number. The 40 districts are spread across Jharkhand, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Meghalaya, among other states, according to the Prime Minister's Office. "In this biggest pandemic in 100 years, nation faced several challenges. A significant thing in nation's fight against Corona was that we found out new solutions, used innovative methods," he told the officials and he asked them to work on innovative methods to increase the vaccination rate in their respective areas.

"You will have to remember that the states that have achieved the goal of administering 100% first dose of vaccine, also faced different challenges in many areas. There were challenges of geographical situation, resources but these districts overcame those challenges to go ahead," PM Modi said. Further speaking, PM Modi also suggested officials to form different strategy each town and a village. He also asked them to constitute a team of 20-25 people in their areas to execute the door-to-door vaccination policy. "We can also try to have a healthy competition in the teams you have formed," he also suggested. "So far you've been working to take people to vaccination centres, now it's time to reach every house for door-to-door vaccine... You can take help of local religious leaders to spread awareness about Covid vaccines, fight rumours," PM Modi told district officials.

On Tuesday, India's overall vaccination coverage exceeded 1.07 billion (107,25,41,626), the Union ministry of health and family welfare said on Tuesday. The authorities inoculated more than 37 lakh (37,38,574) vaccine doses in a single day (on November 2) till 7pm. India has administered a cumulative 73,61,08,324 first vaccine doses while 33,64,33,302 second doses, the data by the Union ministry showed.