Modi in a spate of meetings as govt goes into emergency mode

New Delhi:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in a spate of meetings on Monday, signalling that the government had gone into  an emergency mode as it battled an unprecedented surge in Covid cases with a record 2.73 lakh infections in a day.

The Prime Minister’s first meeting took place at around 11.30 am, hours after India crossed another grim milestone to report the highest ever surge in cases since the beginning of the pandemic last year.

Later today, PM Modi  also interacted with top doctors from across the country via video conference at 4:30 pm. At 6pm, he met with top pharma companies online. This is the second straight day of meetings for the Prime Minister over the Covid surge.

On Sunday, PM Modi reviewed the Covid situation in Varanasi, his Lok Sabha constituency, and stressed on the need for vaccination for people over 45 years of age.In a statement, PM Modi emphasised on implementing ”tracking, tracing and testing”, saying this has to be fully followed to check the virus’ spread in the same manner the first wave was curbed. The Prime Minister also asked the administration to ensure that preventive measures like social distancing and the use of masks are practised.

Days ago, PM Modi was also briefed about the efforts being made by the government to import medical grade oxygen to bridge the demand-supply gap amid the recent massive surge. At a review meeting comprising senior officials of several ministries, PM Modi suggested that the production of medical oxygen should be scaled up, a government statement said.

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba’s meeting with Chief Secretaries of states and other top officials is also underway on the oxygen crisis.

India also reported 1,619 deaths in a new record high on Monday. The total caseload is now 1.5 crore, with  1.78 lakh fatalities so far. This is the fifth straight day that over 2 lakh cases have been reported.

Maharashtra, Delhi and Karnataka saw the biggest single-day surge in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra logged 68,631 infections, Delhi reported 25,462 new cases while Karnataka saw a spike of 19,067 cases.

As the second – and more deadly – wave of coronavirus grips the country, several strict measures have been implemented, including curfews, across states to tackle the crisis.