New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid fears over second wave of COVID-19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a crucial meet with chief ministers and representatives of all states and union territories (UTs) and said that a "challenging situation" is emerging in the country again and requested people to follow all necessary COVID-19 precautions to break the chain of the infection.

During the meet, the Prime Minister said that both the people and administration in several states and UTs have become "complacent", adding that there is a "need to work on war footing" again to fight the infection. He, however, asked states and UTs not to be afraid of rising numbers and keep testing people.

"We need to fight the second surge in cases. Many states including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Punjab have crossed first wave of peak in COVID-19 cases. This is a serious concern," PM Modi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Also Read -- From 'Corona Curfew' to 'Tika Utsav', 10 big things PM Modi asked states to do to tackle 2nd wave of COVID-19

He also said that India needs to focus on micro-containment zones to stop the surge while adding that night curfew should now be called "Corona Curfew" as it reminds people they are living in the time of corona.

"I appeal to you all to stress on COVID-19 testing. Our target is to do 70 per cent RT-PCR tests. Let the number of positive cases come high, but do maximum testing. Proper sample collection is very important, it can be checked through proper governance," ANI quoted PM Modi as saying.

"We must concentrate on micro-containment zones. In places where night curfew has been imposed, I would urge to use the word 'Corona Curfew', to continue alertness about coronavirus. It will be better to start curfew timing from 9 pm or 10 pm till 5 am or 6 am," he added.

'Vaccination festival from April 11-14?'

Amid claims of vaccine shortage by several states, Prime Minister Modi said that India cannot get results by using all vaccine for just one state and asked the chief ministers whether the country can run a 'Tika Utsav' (vaccination festival) from April 11 to April 14.

"Today, the problem is that we have forgotten about COVID-19 testing and have moved to vaccination. We have to remember that we had won the fight against COVID-19 without a vaccine. We have to emphasise on testing," PM Modi said.

"We need to prioritise (vaccine distribution) with what we have. We won't get the result by keeping vaccines in one state. It is not right to think in this way. We have to manage by thinking about the country," he added.

Here it is noteworthy to mention that several states -- including Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Delhi and Jharkhand -- have claimed that there has been a shortage of vaccines which has forced them to close several inoculation centres.

He also said that the Centre and state governments should focus on reducing the COVID-19 mortality rate, adding that hospitals should collect comprehensive data about patients illnesses.

"Once again we need to raise awareness about the importance of wearing a mask and following COVID-19 safety protocols," PM Modi said.

India has been witnessing a rise in coronavirus cases since February. On Thursday, the country reported more than 1.29 lakh cases. It also reported nearly 700 fresh fatalities, pushing the death toll to 1.66 lakh.

Registering a steady increase for the 29th day in row, the count of active cases has gone up to 9,10,319, which is 7.04 per cent of the total infections, while the country's recovery rate has further dropped to 91.67 per cent, the Health Ministry stated.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma