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COVID-19 Crisis: Ajay Bhalla Holds Meet With 5 States' Secys After PM Modi's Intervention

Union Home Secy Ajay Bhalla spoke to the chief secretaries of five states over the alarming surge in COVID-19 cases and discussed ways to tackle the situation



Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Sunday spoke to the chief secretaries of five states over the alarming surge in COVID-19 cases and discussed ways to tackle the ongoing situation. The meeting was held with the secretaries of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan amid reports of shortage of oxygen masks, Remdesivir drugs and vaccine doses in the country.

In light of the COVID-19 crisis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday directed the Home Secretary to take charge of the situation and review the surge in positive cases. Bhalla has been asked to hold discussions with chief secretaries of all states every six hours and review the situation. The home secretary will then pass additional instructions to the Additional Chief Secretaries and DGPs and also look over the ongoing immunization drive.

On Friday, PM Modi chaired an emergency meeting to review the pandemic situation and the immunization drive which is currently underway in India. Top officials across various ministries participated in the meeting. The Centre’s intervention comes at a time when states have been struggling to curb the virus spread. Several states have also been reporting a shortage of Remdesivir, oxygen, beds, ventilators, and vaccine doses.

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan dialled Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday and assured him of 'adequate and uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen and all possible help. He also informed that an additional 1,121 ventilators are being rushed to the state amid the surge in COVID cases.

India ramps up Remdesivir production

As India faces Remdesivir shortage amid the steep surge in COVID-19 cases, the Centre on Wednesday gave its nod to manufacturers for ramping up the production of the drug used to treat COVID-19 patients. The Centre has also said that production of another 30 lakh vials per month of Remdesivir has been lined up. The decision is expected to enhance the production of the said anti-COVID drug by nearly 78 lakh vials/month. 

A record single-day rise of 2,61,500 coronavirus infections has taken India's total tally of COVID-19 cases to 1,47,88,109, while active cases have surpassed the 18-lakh mark, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday. The death toll increased to 1,77,150 with a record 1,501 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.

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