Modi reviews response to COVID-19, calls for ramping up availability of hospital beds
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairing a review meeting on the COVID-19 situation through video conferencing, in New Delhi on April 17, 2021.

Modi reviews response to COVID-19, calls for ramping up availability of hospital beds

New Delhi, April 17, 2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting here today to review the status of preparedness to handle the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and said that all necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for Covid patients.

The meeting discussed various aspects relating to medicines, oxygen, ventilators and vaccination, an official press release said.

Modi said that together India had defeated the coronavirus pandemic last year and could do it again with the same principles but faster speed and coordination.

He stressed that there is no substitute to testing, tracking and treatment. Early testing and proper tracking remains key to reduce mortality. He also said that local administrations need to be proactive and sensitive to people’s concerns.

The Prime Minister directed that close coordination with States must be ensured in handling the pandemic. He said that all necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for Covid patients. The Prime Minister also directed that additional supply of beds through temporary hospitals and isolation centres should be ensured.

Modi spoke about the need to utilize the full potential of India’s pharmaceutical industry to meet the rising demand of various medicines. He reviewed the status of supply of Remdesivir and other medicines.

The release said the Prime Minister was briefed on actions taken to address the issue of availability of Remdesivir. Through the efforts of the Government, capacity and production augmentation for manufacturing of Remdesivir have been ramped up to provide around 74.10 lakh vials/month in May while the normal production output in January-February was 27-29 lakh vials/month. Supplies have also increased from 67,900 vials on 11th April going up to over 2,06,000 vials on 15th April 2021 which are being particularly focused on states with high caseload and high demand.

Modi took note of the ramped up production capacity, and directed that issues relating to real-time supply chain management to States must be resolved urgently in coordination with the States. He directed that use of Remdesivir and other medicines must be in accordance with approved medical guidelines, and that their misuse and black marketing must be strictly curbed.

On the issue of supply of medical oxygen, the Prime Minister directed that the installation of approved medical oxygen plants should be expedited.

The meeting noted that 162 PSA oxygen plants are being installed in 32 States/UTs with funds from PM CARES. The officers informed the meeting that one lakh cylinders are being procured and they will be supplied to states soon. They said that they are in constant touch with 12 high burden states in assessing the current and future requirement of medical oxygen. A supply mapping plan for 12 high burden states till 30th April has also been undertaken.

The Prime Minister said that supply of oxygen required for production of medicines and equipment necessary to handle the pandemic should also be ensured.

He also reviewed the status of availability and supply of ventilators. He noted that a real-time monitoring system has been created, and directed that concerned State governments should be sensitized to use the system proactively.

On the issue of vaccination, the Prime Minister directed all officials to make efforts to utilize the entire national capacity, in public as well as private sector, to ramp up vaccine production.

Among those who attended the meeting were the Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Union Home Secretary, Union Health Secretary, Pharmaceuticals Secretary and Planning Commission Member V K Paul.


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