Setting aside political differences, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Maharashtra counterpart Uddhav Thackeray have appreciated locating state of art throughput COVID-19 testing facilities in Kolkata and Mumba. The third one has been located at Noida close to the national capital. These facilities are based at the National Institutes of Indian Council of Medical Research at Kolkata, Mumbai and Noida. Prime Minister said that these hi-tech state-of-the-art testing facilities will boost the testing capacity by almost 10,000 daily tests. More number of tests will assist in early detection and treatment, thereby helping fight the spread of the virus. These high-tech labs will also in future be utilized for testing Hepatitis B and C, HIV, Dengue and several other diseases. Modi underlined that due to timely decisions taken by the government, India is better placed compared to other countries in terms of deaths due to COVID. The recovery rate is also higher than in other countries and is improving on a daily basis. It is imperative for the country to develop corona specific health infrastructure at a fast pace, PM said adding the Centre has announced a package of Rs 15,000 crore at the beginning of this battle. The country now has more than 11,000 COVID facilities and more than 11 lakh isolation beds. While the country had only one COVID testing centre in January, there are almost 1300 such labs now. Presently, more than 5 lakh tests are being conducted in the country daily, and efforts are underway to increase this capacity to 10 lakh. India is now the second-largest PPE kit manufacturer. The country has progressed from not having even a single PPE kit manufacturer as recently as six months ago, to having more than 1200 manufacturers now, who are producing more than 5 lakh such kits daily. He also highlighted that from being dependent on imports, now more than 3 lakh N-95 masks are being produced in the country daily, the annual production capacity of ventilators has become 3 lakh and there has also been a significant increase in the production of medical oxygen cylinders. This has not only helped save lives but has also converted India from an importer to an exporter. Talking about efforts to contain the spread in rural areas, Modi mentioned the need to develop new health infrastructure as well as boost the already existing health infrastructure facilities in the villages. Apart from developing the physical infrastructure, the country has also managed to swiftly ramp up human resources including paramedics, ASHA workers, Anganwadis etc, who have played a significant part in controlling the spread of the pandemic. He also spoke about the need to work on continuously attaching new and retired health professionals with the health system in order to prevent fatigue from setting in our corona warriors. He forewarned people to be cautious during the celebrations of the festivals to come, in order to keep the virus contained. He underlined that the benefits of PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojna should reach the poor timely. He added that till the time a vaccine is not developed, do gaz doori, wearing masks and hand sanitization are the tools at the disposal of the people to keep them safe. Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said that labs to test for COVID are now available all across the country. He also spoke about the Union Home Minister working along with Delhi Chief Minister to control the spread of the virus in the national capital. Uddhav Thackeray praised the leadership of the PM Modi in the tough circumstances. He spoke about the ‘chase the virus’ initiative in Mumbai and also discussed establishing permanent infection hospitals. Mamata Banerjee appreciated the cooperative attitude of the Prime Minister towards the States, spoke about efforts to track cases, use of telemedicine and also about the need to ramp up facilities in some of the existing labs in the State. UP CM Yogi Adityanath expressed his gratitude towards the PM for his untiring efforts in this fight against the virus. He said that these labs will dramatically reduce testing time. He mentioned about ramping up testing ability in the State and the plan to increase the number of daily antigen tests.
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