Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a video conference with all chief ministers on the prevailing COVID-19 situation and the vaccination drive against the virus on Wednesday. The virtual meeting, to be held at 12.30pm on March 17, comes in the wake of a rapid rise in coronavirus cases in several states.
The prime minister, who has been holding such exercises regularly since the outbreak of the pandemic, last interacted with chief ministers in January before the vaccination roll-out.
He had announced that the Centre will bear the expenses of vaccinating nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers in the first round and suggested that public representatives, a reference to politicians, should not be part of this initial exercise. The drive has now moved on to next round to cover people over 60 years of age, and those aged above 45 years and having comorbidities.
On Monday, India registered 26,291 cases, a 8,700 rise in active cases. This is also the highest single-day spike in 85 days, taking the country’s infection tally to 1,13,85,339, according to Union health ministry data. The number of deaths due to the pandemic increased to 1,58,725 with 118 more fatalities being recorded in 24 hours.
As many as 24 states and Union territories reported rise in active cases, with Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab and Karnataka registering maximum number of cases at 16,600, 1,800, 1,500 and 934 new cases, respectively.