New Delhi, July 16: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the trend of increasing in COVID-19 cases in Kerala and Maharashtra is a cause of concern.

He was interacting with Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha, Maharashtra, and Kerala to discuss the COVID-19 situation. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya were also present in the meeting.  PM Narendra Modi Says States Reporting More COVID-19 Cases Should Take Proactive Measures To Prevent Third Wave

Thanking the Prime Minister for lending all possible help and support in tackling COVID-19, the Chief Ministers briefed him about steps that are being taken to contain the spread of the virus in their states.

They also provided feedback about the vaccination strategy and progress.

The Chief Ministers also mentioned the steps taken to boost medical infrastructure and gave suggestions on dealing with any possible rise of cases in future. They gave an assurance that they are doing their best to control the surge of infection.

Amit Shah mentioned that these six states account for more than 80 per cent of the total cases during the month of July, while some of these states have very high test positivity rate as well.

In his closing remarks, Modi said: "All of us are at a point where apprehensions of the third wave are continuously expressed. Despite experts giving positive signals due to the downward trends, the increasing number of cases in a few states is still worrisome."

The Prime Minister pointed out that during the last week, 80 per cent cases as well as 84 per cent "unfortunate" deaths came from the states present in the meeting.

"Initially, experts believed that states where the second wave originated will see the normalisation first. However, increasing numbers in Kerala and Maharashtra are cause of grave worry," he said.

The Prime Minister cautioned that similar trends were seen in January-February before the second wave and insisted that in the states where cases are rising, proactive measures have to be taken to prevent the possibility of the third wave.

He underlined the experts' view that if the cases keep on rising for a long time, chances of mutation of the coronavirus will also increase and dangers of new variants will also rise.

"We need to continue with the strategy of Test, Track, Treat and Teeka (vaccination) while putting special focus on micro-containment zones. Districts with large numbers should be focussed on," Modi said.

He stressed increased testing in entire states.

Terming vaccines as a strategic tool for high infection areas, the Prime Minister stressed the effective use of vaccination.

Praising the states who are using this time to improve their RT-PCR testing capacity, he also cited the financial help that is being provided for enhancing medical infrastructure like ICU beds and testing capacity.

Referring to the recently-approved Rs 23,000 crore emergency Covid response package, the Prime Minister asked the states to use the funds to strengthen medical infrastructure.

He also made special mention of the need to protect children from being infected and make all possible arrangements in this regard.

The Prime Minister also noted with concern the rise of the number of cases in Europe, the US, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand and many other countries. "This should alert us and the world," he said. The Prime Minister reiterated that Corona is not over and expressed deep concern over the pictures of COVID-19 norms violations that are coming post lockdown.

He emphasised the need to follow protocols and avoid crowding as many states in the meeting have metropolitan cities with dense populations.

He also called upon political parties, social organisations, and NGOs to spread awareness among people.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 16, 2021 06:38 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website