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21 (14)-684

I want to acknowledge the traditional owner of the land on which we stand today and pay my respect to their elders and their past and present. Premier Campbell Newman, Lord Mayor Graham Quirk and Friends,

Thank you very much for hosting this Reception. I am delighted to be present at this function. Congratulations to Brisbane for being such a wonderful host to G20. You did an outstanding job. I know that you have often lived in the shadow of Melbourne and Sydney. This week you have shown the world what a great city and host you are.

21 (4)-684 Today, I have started my bilateral visit to Australia and, I am pleased that it has begun here. Queensland is at the forefront of relations between India and Australia.

Earlier today, I had the privilege to unveil a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Brisbane. This has added a special bond of emotion between us. This is a symbol of the values that we share; the ideals we aspire to; and, the world we wish to build. The credit for this strong partnership between India and Queensland goes to you, Premier Newman and Lord Mayor.

Your missions to India have been very productive and brought our businesses and our people closer. Several Queensland business delegations are visiting India this year. Queensland has emerged as a major source of key resources to power India`s growth development. It is also a major destination of Indian investments. You have supported partnership in education and skills.

Queensland`s universities and research institutions are collaborating closely with India. They have used the opportunities provided by Australia-India Strategic Research Fund well.

I went to Queensland University the other day and met some of your scientists and academics. The joint research we are doing will help our farmers, especially in dry areas, and contribute to food security in India. Queensland`s fruits and vegetables are really good. There is a lot of potential for us to work together.

I am joined on this visit by a delegation of business and academic leaders from India, who are forging strong partnerships with Australia and especially with Queensland.

I am grateful to you for looking after the Indian community of nearly 100,000. Some have been here for generations, some have come more recently. But, they are really happy here. They are the bridge of friendship and understanding between us.

We can also learn and gain a lot from each other in tourism. Lord Mayor, Brisbane has emerged as centre of advanced technology; at the same time Hyderabad is also known as Cyberabad. It is natural that the two cities have a sister-city relationship. I truly welcome the engagement between states and cities. Relations between countries can prosper fully only if we bring our states and cities together.

That is why I am also very keen to involve states in India in our international engagements.

21 (10)-684 Friends, This is an exciting moment in India. A moment filled with optimism; a desire for change and progress; and the confidence to achieve it. Driven by the energy and the enterprise of our youth. This is a time to forge partnerships in India. You will find a welcoming environment that not only makes it possible, but also easy and smooth.

Here in Brisbane and at this Reception, I feel the sentiment of friendship between our people and the promise of a strong partnership in the years ahead.

I want to thank you once again for the warmth of your welcome and your hospitality.

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There is no substitute to testing, tracking and treatment: PM
All necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for Covid patients: PM
Local administrations need to be proactive and sensitive to people’s concerns: PM
PM reviewed the status of supply of Remdesivir and other medicines
Installation of approved medical oxygen plants should be accelerated: PM
Utilize the entire national capacity to ramp up vaccine production: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to review the status of preparedness to handle the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Various aspects relating to medicines, oxygen, ventilators and vaccination were discussed.

The Prime Minister said that together India had defeated Covid last year & India can do it again, with the same principles but faster speed and coordination.

The PM stressed that there is no substitute to testing, tracking and treatment. Early testing and proper tracking remains key to reduce mortality. He also said that local administrations need to be proactive and sensitive to people’s concerns.

The Prime Minister directed that close coordination with States must be ensured in handling the pandemic. He said that all necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for Covid patients. The Prime Minister also directed that additional supply of beds through temporary hospitals and isolation centres should be ensured.

PM spoke about the need to utilize the full potential of India’s pharmaceutical industry to meet the rising demand of various medicines. He reviewed the status of supply of Remdesivir and other medicines. The Prime Minister was briefed on actions taken to address the issue of availability of Remdesivir. Through the efforts of the Government, capacity and production augmentation for manufacturing of Remdesivir has been ramped up to provide around 74.10 lakh vials/month in May while the normal production output in January-February being just 27-29 lakh vials/month. Supplies have also increased from 67,900 vials on 11th April going up to over 2,06,000 vials on 15th April 2021 which are being particularly focused on states with high caseload and high demand. He took note of the ramped up production capacity, and directed that issues relating to real-time supply chain management to States must be resolved urgently in coordination with the States. The Prime Minister directed that use of Remdesivir and other medicines must be in accordance with approved medical guidelines, and that their misuse and black marketing must be strictly curbed.

On the issue of supply of medical oxygen, the Prime Minister directed that the installation of approved medical oxygen plants should be sped up. 162 PSA Oxygen plants are being installed in 32 States/UTs from PM CARES. The officers informed that 1 lakh cylinders are being procured & they will be supplied to states soon. The officers briefed the PM that they are in constant supply with 12 high burden states in assessing the current and future requirement of medical oxygen. A supply mapping plan for 12 high burden states till 30th April has also been undertaken. The Prime Minister also said that supply of oxygen required for production of medicines and equipment necessary to handle the pandemic should also be ensured.

The Prime Minister also reviewed the status of availability & supply of ventilators. The Prime Minister noted that a real time monitoring system has been created, and directed that concerned State governments should be sensitized to use the system proactively.

On the issue of vaccination, the Prime Minister directed all officials to make efforts to utilize the entire national capacity, in public as well as private sector, to ramp up vaccine production.

He was joined by Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Union Home Secretary, Union Health Secretary, Pharma Secretary. Dr V K Paul, Niti Aayog was also present.