‘Test Track, Treat and Teeka’, a tested and proven strategy against COVID: Modi
New Delhi, July 16, 2021
"Test Track, Treat and Teeka" is a tested and proven strategy against the COVID pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today, stressing the need to take proactive measures to prevent the possibility of a third wave.
Speaking at an interaction with the Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha and Maharashtra, the Prime Minister said, “We are at a point where apprehensions of the third wave are being expressed. Despite experts giving positive signals due to the downward trends, the increasing number of cases in few states is still worrisome."
These six states have caused some concern with the high numbers of cases of COVID-19 reported by them in the past few weeks.
“During the past week, 80% of the cases, as well as 84% of the deaths were from these six states. Initially, the experts thought that the states where the second wave originated will see the normalization first. However, increasing numbers in Kerala and Maharashtra are a cause of grave worry,” Modi said.
“Similar trends were seen in January-February before the second wave. That is why we have to take proactive measures in the states where cases are rising to prevent the possibility of the third wave,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister underlined the experts' view that if the cases keep on rising for a long time, chances of mutation of the coronavirus will also increase and dangers of new variants will also rise.
“Therefore, we need to continue with the strategy of Test, Track, Treat and Teeka (vaccination) while putting special focus on micro-containment zones. Districts with large numbers should be focussed on,” he said.
Modi also stressed increased testing in the states. Terming vaccines as a strategic tool for high infection areas, he emphasised the effective use of vaccination. He praised those states who were using this time to improve their RT-PCR testing capacity.
The Prime Minister talked of the financial help being provided for enhancing medical infrastructures like ICU beds and testing capacity. Referring to the recently approved Rs 23,000 crore emergency Covid response package, he asked the states to use the funds to strengthen medical infrastructure.
He exhorted the states to fill the infrastructural gaps, especially in the rural areas. He also asked them to strengthen the IT systems, control rooms and call centres so that citizens got access to resources and data in a transparent manner and patients were spared unnecessary hassles.
Modi said out of 332 PSA plants allocated to the states present in the meeting, 53 plants have been commissioned. He asked the Chief Ministers to expedite the completion of the remaining plants. He also made a special mention of the need to protect children from being infected and to take all possible steps in this regard.
Noting with concern the rise of cases in Europe, America, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand and many other countries, he said this should alert India and the rest of the world.
He reiterated that COVID was not over and expressed deep concern over the pictures that were coming post lockdown. He emphasized the need to follow protocol and avoid crowding as many states in the meeting have metropolitan cities with dense populations. He also called upon political parties, social organizations and NGOs to spread awareness among people.
The Union Home Minister and Health Minister were also present in the meeting. The Chief Ministers thanked the Prime Minister for lending all possible help and support in tackling Covid. They briefed him about the progress of vaccination and steps that are being taken to contain the spread of the virus in their states. They also provided feedback about the vaccination strategy.
The Chief Ministers talked about the steps taken to boost medical infrastructure and gave suggestions on dealing with any possible rise of cases in future. They also discussed post-Covid issues being faced by patients and steps being taken to assist in such cases. They gave assurance that they were doing their best to control the surge of infection.
The Home Minister said these six states accounted for more than 80% of the total cases during July, while some of these states have a very high test positivity rate as well.
The Union Health Secretary discussed the Covid cases in the country and talked about the need to reinforce COVID- appropriate behaviour and containment measures in the districts with the high caseload. He also suggested that opening up of these districts should be done in a graded and calibrated manner.
In his closing remarks, the Prime Minister lauded the state governments for their cooperation and learning in the fight against the pandemic.