New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a crucial meet with chief ministers of six states -- Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha, Maharashtra and Kerala -- amid concerns over a possible third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During his meet, PM Modi expressed concerns over the spike in cases in Maharashtra and Kerala and asked the states to focus on the mantra of "Test, Track, Treat and Tika (vaccine)" to deal with the pandemic.

"We are at a point where there are talks about a possible 3rd wave of COVID. In last few days, around 80 per cent of new cases have come from these 6 states," PM Modi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The Prime Minister said that the country fought the pandemic with "mutual cooperation and united efforts" as he urged the states reporting spike in cases to take proactive measures to avoid a third wave.

"The government of India has announced a Rs 23,000 crore emergency response package to combat COVID-19. The States must use funds from this package to strengthen health infrastructure. Infrastructural gaps need to be filled. There is also a need to focus on rural areas," ANI quoted PM Modi as saying.

PM Modi has been interacting with chief ministers since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In his last meet with chief ministers of northeast, he had said the vaccination drive needs to be continuously ramped up to deal with the pandemic.

Prime Minister Modi had also said that it is a matter of concern that big crowds are thronging hill stations and market areas without masks and social distancing.

Meanwhile, India reported 38,949 new COVID-19 cases, 40,026 recoveries and 542 deaths on Friday, said the Union Health Ministry, adding that the country's active caseload of COVID-19 cases is at 4.30 lakh.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma