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GoM reviews preparedness, actions for management of COVID-19

The GoM also discussed the actions taken so far, current status of social distancing measures and the stringent actions taken by the Centre and States to contain the spread of COVID-19. During the meeting, it was informed that all districts have been asked to prepare and strengthen their contingency plans to combat COVID-19. Several other measures about strengthening capacity of States including devoting adequate resources for creating dedicated COVID-19 hospitals, equipping the medical institutes with PPEs, ventilators and other essential equipment were also discussed in detail. States have been asked to identify COVID-19 centres and hospitals according to already laid guidelines.

The GoM was apprised that as of now the death rate due to virus is around three per cent while recovery rate is around 12 percent which is comparatively better than most of the countries. GoM also reviewed the testing strategy and availability of testing kits across the country along with the strategy for hotspots and cluster management. The GoM was informed that 170 districts are being put in Red Zone or Hotspots with 123 districts with large outbreaks and 47 districts with clusters. There are 207 non- hotspot districts with clusters and 353 districts which are placed in green zone as they are non-infected. If no case is reported in last 14 days then the red zone district will be placed under orange zone and further no case is reported in next 14 days then that district will come under Green zone.

GoM was also apprised regarding the adequacy and availability of PPEs, masks, ventilators, drugs and other essential equipment against the requirement. GoM was informed that domestic manufactures have been identified for production of  PPEs and orders have been placed. In addition, order for ventilators has also  been placed.

During the meeting Dr. Harsh Vardhan directed that there should not be any dilution of quality and standards in manufacturing of PPEs, masks, ventilators and other equipments. He also suggested that stringent punishment may be placed for the manufacturers in case of any deviation from the quality standards and protocols while manufacturing the PPEs, masks and Ventilators.

Dr Harsh Vardhan reiterated that detailed advisories and guidelines for who should use which type of mask and PPE have been posted on the Ministry website and awareness regarding this is also being created. He also added that social distancing and isolation are the most effective social vaccines against COVID-19 and appealed to everyone to follow protocol of personal hygiene and respiratory protocols during the lockdown period.

Department of Science and Technology , Department of Bio-Technology and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR gave a detailed presentation to the GoM on diagnosis, drugs and vaccine development for COVID-19. They also informed that they are working together to find the solutions and support for the management of COVID-19 along with ICMR and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Dr Vardhan had recently held a review with DG CSIR, Dr. Shekhar C. Mande and the other CSIR lab. Directors through video conference of the steps undertaken by CSIR and its constituent 38 labs. towards developing technological solutions to manage COVID-19 outbreak in the country. GoM opined that timely availability of solutions is the key.

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar,Minister of State for Home Nityananda Rai, Member (Health) in NITI Aayog Dr V K Paul and Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat among those attended the meeting.

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