Government of India has taken a series of actions to prevent, control and mitigate the impact of COVID-19. India followed a “whole of Government” and “whole of society” approach. Hon’ble Prime Minister, a High level Group of Ministers (GoM), Cabinet Secretary, Committee of Secretaries and senior officers in MoHFW continue to monitor public health response to COVID-19 in the country.
The public health actions were taken in a pre-emptive, pro-active, graded manner based on the evolving scenario. A number of travel advisories were issued restricting inflow of international travelers, till such time, commercial flights were suspended on 23rd March, 2020. Till then, a total of 14,154 flights with 15,24,266 passengers have been screened at these airports. Screening was also done at 12 major and 65 minor ports and land border crossings. In the initial part of the pandemic, India evacuated a large number of stranded passengers from then COVID affected countries (China, Italy, Iran, Japan, Malaysia) and again in the un-lockdown phase, a total of 12,43,176 passengers have been brought back (as on 9th September, 2020) and followed up.
Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) is conducting contact tracing through community surveillance. In the earlier part of the pandemic, this was done for travel related cases and subsequently for cases being reported from community as a part of containment strategy. As on 10th September 2020, a total of about 40 lakh persons have been kept under surveillance. There are 1697 laboratories conducting COVID-19 Testing. India is testing is about 1 million samples a day. A total of 5.4 crore samples have been tested so far (as on 10th September 2020).
As on 10th September, 2020, a total of 15,290 COVID treatment facilities with 13,14,171 dedicated isolation bed without O2 support have been created. Also, a total of 2,31,269 oxygen supported isolation beds and 62,694 ICU beds (including 32,241 ventilator beds). Guidelines on Clinical management of COVID-19 have been issued and are being updated regularly.
States are being supported in terms of supply of logistics. So far 1.39 Crore of PPE Kits, 3.42 crores N-95 masks, 10.84 crore tablets of Hydroxychloroquine and 29,779 ventilators and 1,02,400 oxygen cylinders have been supplied to States/UTs/ Central Government hospitals so far (as on 10th September, 2020).
Various cadres of personnel and volunteers across sectors and departments for COVID related works and maintenance of other essential medical services have been worked out, trained through resources made available on the website of MoHFW, iGOT (online platform) by DOPT (https://igot.gov.in/igot/).
MoHFW website is being daily to provide general public with information on current status of COVID-19 spread in India. Communication material is also being hosted on MoHFW website and through social media. A dedicated call centre / helpline (1075) has been started to guide community at large which are being used by the citizens very effectively and on a regular basis.
More than 30 vaccine candidates have been supported which are in different stages of development, 3 candidates are in advanced stage of Phase I/II/III trials and more than 4 are in advanced pre-clinical development stage. A National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 has been constituted on 7th August, 2020, under NITI Ayog. Thirteen clinical trials of repurposed drugs have been undertaken to build a portfolio of therapeutic options for Covid-19 patients.
Health is a State subject. The responsibility of engaging private hospitals in treating COVID cases is that of the State Government. Union Health Secretary has written to all States/UTs to engage private hospitals through mutually agreeable arrangements. Rates under PM-JAY and CGHS packages have been advised. A large number of States have accordingly issued instructions to that affect.
The Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare), Sh Ashwini Kumar Choubey stated this in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha here today.