This is Prime Minister Modi’s first major Covid meeting as states are bringing back overnight curfews, weekend closings to contain the spread of Omicron.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a high-level meeting of officials on Sunday to review the country’s pandemic situation. The last meeting of Prime Minister Modi was held on December 24. Since then, the situation of the pandemic in the country has changed and daily cases register a massive increase, with Omicron being the dominant variant in many cities. Other events that took place in the interim period include the announcement of the election calendar in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur and the extension of the vaccination program. Adolescents between the ages of 15 and 18 are being vaccinated against Covid, while precautionary doses will be available for front-line workers and seniors with comorbidities starting January 10.
India’s Covid-19 count is on an upward trend increasing exponentially in recent days. On Sunday, India reported 1.59 lakh of cases, bringing the number of active cases to around 6 lakh. Several states have reinstated the weekend curfew, night curfew and other restrictions to contain the spread of Omicron, which is believed to be driving the current surge.
Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur will go to the polls from February 10. The Electoral Commission has announced a one-month schedule to complete the elections in these five states, which will be held following all Covid guidelines. For the first time, the Election Commission has banned physical demonstrations in these states linked to the polls until January 15 in view of the Omicron situation. Post commission review, ban may be lifted, but EC campaign curfew after 8pm will remain in effect.
According to scientists, India is witnessing the third phase of the pandemic, which is different from the first two due to extensive vaccination coverage and fewer restrictions. The situation is dynamic and India may reach the peak of the wave later this month, experts said.