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Strategy of vaccinating health workers first has paid rich dividends in second wave of Covid-19, says Modi
New Delhi, May 18, 2021
The strategy of starting the COVID-19 vaccination programme with the frontline health workers has paid rich dividends in the second wave, according to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Speaking at an interaction with a group of doctors from across the country via video conferencing yesterday to discuss the COVID situation, Modi said about 90% of the health professionals have already taken the first dose. Vaccines have ensured the safety of most doctors.
The Prime Minister thanked the entire medical fraternity and the paramedical staff for the exemplary fight in the extraordinary circumstances of the second wave, adding that the entire country was indebted to them. He noted that testing, supply of medicines or set-up of new infrastructure in record time were all being done at a fast pace.
Several challenges of oxygen production and supply are being overcome. The steps to augment human resources, like including MBBS students in COVID treatment, and ASHAs and Anganwadi workers in rural areas, provided extra support to the health system.
He urged the doctors to include oxygen audit in their daily efforts. Noting that a large number of patients were undergoing treatment in "home isolation", he requested the doctors to ensure that the home-based care of every patient was SOP-driven. Telemedicine has played a big role for patients in home isolation and this service needed to be expanded in rural areas as well.
He lauded the doctors who were forming teams and providing telemedicine service in villages. He appealed to doctors across the states to form similar teams, train final year MBBS students and MBBS interns and work towards ensuring that all tehsils and districts of the country had telemedicine service.
The Prime Minister also discussed the challenge of Mucormycosis and said that doctors may need to put in extra effort towards taking active steps and spreading awareness about it. He underscored the importance of psychological care, along with physical care.
Continuously fighting this long battle against the virus must be mentally challenging for the medical fraternity, but the power of faith of citizens stands with them in this fight, he added.
During the interaction, the doctors thanked the Prime Minister for his guidance and leadership during the recent surge and for prioritising the healthcare workers for vaccination.
They informed him about their preparedness since the first wave of COVID and the challenges they faced in the second wave. They shared their experiences, best practices and innovative efforts. In the fight against COVID, every effort was also being made to take proper care of other patients. They also shared their experiences of increasing awareness among the public, including sensitising patients against improper use of medicines.
The meeting was attended by Member (Health) NITI Aayog, Health Secretary, Pharmaceuticals Secretary and other officers from the Prime Minister's Office and concerned Ministries and Departments of the Central Government.