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Governors an important pillar of ‘Janbhagidari’ in battle against COVID, says Modi
New Delhi, April 15, 2021
The Governors, as an important link between state governments and society, should ensure better coordination and "Janbhagidari", people’s participation, in the fight against COVID, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday.
Interacting through video conferencing with Governors of States regarding the COVID-19 situation and ongoing vaccination drive, Modi said the combined power of all community organizations, political parties, NGOs and social institutions needed to be harnessed for this purpose.
“The Governors are an important pillar of Janbhagidari in this battle and their coordination with State Governments and guidance to institutions of the State will further strengthen the nation’s resolve,” he said.
The Governors should actively engage to ensure that social institutions collaborated seamlessly with the state Governments towards micro containment. Their social network would help ensure an increase in the capacity of ambulances, ventilators and oxygen in hospitals. Along with spreading the message about vaccination and treatment, the Governors could also spread awareness about AYUSH-related remedies.
Noting that the youth as the workforce played an important role in the economy, he said it was important to ensure that they followed all COVID-related protocols and precautions.
“The Governors’ role was also critical in ensuring the greater engagement of students in University campuses towards this Janbhagidari. We need to focus on better utilization of facilities at University and College campuses. NCC and NSS also have a key role to play this year as well,” he added.
Discussing the rise in the number of COVID cases, the Prime Minister said in this stage of the fight against the virus, the country stands to gain from last year’s experience and improved healthcare capacity. He referred to the increase in RTPCR testing capacity and noted that the country has become "Aatmanirbhar" (self-reliant) as regards kits and other material related to testing.
All this has led to a reduction in the cost of RTPCR tests. Most of the products related to testing are also available on the GeM portal. The Prime Minister emphasized the significance of increasing tracking, tracing and testing. The RTPCR testing needed to be increased from 60% to 70%, he said.
Modi said the government was committed to ensuring adequate availability of vaccines. India has become the fastest nation to reach the landmark of 10 crore vaccinations. Noting the positive impact of "Tika Utsav" in the last four days, he said during this period, the drive was expanded and new vaccination centres also came up.
Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan attended the interaction.
Naidu expressed his appreciation for the Prime Minister in leading the fight against COVID and his proactive steps to develop the infrastructure required to tackle the pandemic. He also highlighted the scientific community's contribution in giving a vaccine to India and the whole world. He talked about the contribution of healthcare workers, sanitation workers and other frontline workers who have played a vital role during the pandemic.
The Vice President called upon the Governors to bring up a coordinated front by holding all-party meetings in their respective states and engaging with civil society organisations to spread awareness about COVID-appropriate behaviour. A "Team India spirit" cutting across party lines should be adopted and in this regard, Governors as the "Guardians of the State" could guide the State Governments.
Shah stressed the importance of saving every life. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan gave a presentation on Covid cases and vaccination drive. He gave an overview of how India has followed a proactive and pre-emptive approach in this endeavour.
The Governors shared details of how their respective states were tackling the spread of the virus and coordinating activities towards ensuring a smooth implementation of the vaccination drive, while also mentioning the deficiencies of healthcare facilities in the states.
They gave suggestions for further improvement in the efforts and shared plans of how "Janbhagidari" can be increased through the active social engagement of various groups.