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Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on the Covid-19 situation in the country and the vaccination drive on Saturday morning. The meeting began at around 11 am.

Amid massive oxygen shortage and criticism from the opposition over the incumbent government’s handling of Covid-19 crisis across the country, PM Modi in the meeting emphasised on the ramped-up testing. It is has been scaled from around 50 lakh tests per week in early March to around 1.3 crore tests per week in May.

The government authorities have been advised on localised containment strategies which are need of the hour, and PM guided to scale up testing in areas with high test positivity rates. Meanwhile, PM also asked for augmentation of healthcare resources in rural areas as the infections are now hitting the hinterland. The district authorities were guided to focus on door-to-door testing and surveillance while empowering ASHA & Anganwadi workers with all necessary tools to boost the fight against Covid-19 in rural areas.

Focusing on rural pockets, PM told authorities to ensure proper distribution of oxygen supply, along with providing necessary training to health workers in the operation of ventilators and other equipment.

India has been logging over three lakh Covid cases for past three weeks, raising global concerns. The overall case count rose to 2.43 crore cases with 3.26 lakh cases recorded in the last 24 hours, as per the Health Ministry data released on Saturday morning.

Amid the shortage of medical oxygen, which has been linked to deaths of patients in several parts of the country, desperate pleas for hospital beds and medicines are still pouring in.

While health experts from across the globe are suggesting to step up vaccination drives, many states have been red-flagging the shortage of doses. However, on Thursday, the government said about 200 crore Covid-19 jabs are expected to be available by the end of this year.

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