New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday reviewed the COVID-19 situation in the country and the preparedness of vaccine delivery, distribution and said that access to vaccines should be ensured speedily once they are ready keeping in view the geographical span and diversity of the country. Also Read - Half of Indians May Have Had Coronavirus by February 2021, Says Govt Panel

The prime minister was chairing a meeting to review arrangements for the delivery and distribution of a coronavirus vaccine – when one is made available. He also called for “speedy access” to the vaccine for all members of the population and directed officials to keep in mind the geographical span and diversity of the country while planning logistics. Also Read - 'Global Pandemic Made us Realise Importance of Technology, Teamwork': PM Modi at Grand Challenges Meet

A PMO release said three vaccines are in advanced stages of development in India, out of which two are in Phase II and one is in Phase-III.
It said Indian scientists and research teams are collaborating and strengthening the research capacities in neighbouring countries – Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Also Read - Marijuana Ingredient, CBD Helps Reduce Lung Damage From COVID-19, Here's How

There are further requests from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Qatar and Bhutan for clinical trials in their countries.

In an effort to help the global community, the Prime Minister also said that we should not limit our efforts to our immediate neighbourhood but also reach out to the entire world in providing vaccines, medicines and IT platforms for vaccine delivery system.

The Prime Minister  also stressed that every step in the logistics, delivery, and administration should be put in place rigorously. The release further stated that the steps must include advanced planning of cold storage chains, distribution network, monitoring mechanism, advance assessment, and preparation of ancillary equipment required, such as vails and syringes.

Two Pan India studies on the Genome of SARSCoV-2 (COVID-19 virus) in India conducted by ICMR and Department of Bio-Technology (DBT) suggest that the virus is genetically stable and there is no major mutation in the virus.

The Prime Minister said that the country should make use of experience of successful conduct of elections and disaster management in vaccine distribution.

The meeting was attended by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Principal Secretary to PM, Member (Health) NITI Aayog, Principal Scientific Advisor, senior Scientists, officers of PMO and other departments of the central government.

(With ANI inputs)