During his interaction, PM Modi asked the chief ministers to focus on micro-containment zones and reiterated his call to work on the mantra of test, track, treat.

PM Modi taking the vaccine at AIIMSFile image
Coronavirus COVID-19 Friday, April 09, 2021 - 08:34

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said states should observe a 'vaccine festival' or ‘Tika Utsav’ between April 11-14 to inoculate the maximum number of eligible beneficiaries against COVID-19. This came even as Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan called for an end to "fear mongering" about shortage of vaccines after some states complained of lack of supplies.

This announcement made by PM Modi came after yet another interaction with chief ministers where they were urged to strengthen efforts for the next 2-3 weeks to check the spread of the virus on a "war-footing".

During his interaction, PM Modi asked the chief ministers to focus on micro-containment zones and reiterated his call to work on the mantra of test, track, treat besides pushing COVID-appropriate behaviour and COVID-management to bring down the peak. He asked states to not bother much about positive cases and focus on more testing.

"Our efforts should be to inoculate maximum eligible people during the 'Tika utsav' (vaccination festival) between April 11-14," he said, asking youngsters to help those above 45 years of age to get the jab. April 11 is the birth anniversary of noted social reformer Jyotirao Phule, he noted.

Vardhan took to Twitter to say that 9.1 crore vaccine doses have been utilised, while 2.4 crore are in stock and 1.9 crore vaccines are in the pipeline, indicating there are sufficient doses available for all states.

Ten states including Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Kerala and Punjab have shown a steep rise in the daily COVID-19 cases accounting for 84.2% of the 1,26,789 new infections, the Union Health Ministry said.

The national weekly COVID-19 positivity rate has increased by 6.21%  from 2.19 to 8.40% in the first seven days of March and April, it added.

As more states like Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka and the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir imposed night curfew in several districts up to the end of this month, Modi defended this measure saying it has been an experiment globally to contain the COVID-19 spread, and proposed to call the night restriction as "corona curfew" to maintain public awareness about the pandemic

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