Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that there has been a clear decline in the number of daily Covid-19 cases in the country, along with a decline in the growth rate and number of deaths, over the past three weeks.
Taking stock of the Covid-19 pandemic situation in the country and plans for the delivery, PM said during a meeting that distribution and administration of Covid-19 vaccine(s) will be done when it is ready.
Prime Minister also called for “speedy access to vaccines for citizens” once vaccines are ready for use.
PM Modi suggested that vaccine delivery system should be developed on the lines of conducting elections, involving all levels of governments and citizen groups, the government said in a press statement after the meeting.
The meeting was attended by Union health minister Harsh Vardhan, along with top officials from various government departments and the NITI Aayog.
“Three vaccines are in advanced stages of development in India, out of which two are in Phase II and one is in Phase-III trials. Indian scientists and research teams are collaborating and strengthening the research capacities in neighbouring countries like Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal and Sri Lanka,” the statement said.
It added that there have also been requests from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Qatar and Bhutan for clinical trials in their countries.
“In an effort to help the global community, the Prime Minister 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,” the statement said.
In the meeting, the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 presented a detailed blueprint of vaccine storage, distribution, and administration.
The Expert Group, in consultation with the states, is also working actively on vaccine prioritisation and distribution.
“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,” the statement said.
At the end of the meeting, PM Modi cautioned 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,” the statement said.