“I congratulate you all for managing and keeping the situation under control in our fight against COVID-19 in your respective States and UTs”, said Dr. Harsh Vardhan as he held a meeting to review actions and preparedness for mitigating COVID-19, through Video Conference (VC), with Health Ministers, Chief Secretaries/Health Secretaries of all States and UTs, here today, in the presence of Ashwini Kumar Choubey, MoS (HFW).
The VC saw participation from Maharashtra, Delhi, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Punjab, Bihar, Telangana, Haryana, Odisha, Assam, Chandigarh, Jharkhand, Andaman and Nicobar, Chhatisgarh, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram, Tripura, Sikkim, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Meghalya and Dadra & Nagar Haveli.
Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that “the fight against the pandemic is now more than three months old and the prevention, containment and management of COVID-19 in the country is being monitored at the highest level in collaboration with the States.” Under the leadership of “Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the country has taken several pre-emptive, proactive, and effective measures. These timely steps have helped us mange the situation and be prepared for any eventuality”, he added.
Pointing to the critical importance of the next few weeks to break the chain of transmission of the disease, Dr Harsh Vardhan urged all to ensure social distancing and spread awareness about personal hygiene, which shall help in a resolute and collective fight against COVID-19.
He also added that States need to be mindful that the treatment/medical needs of pregnant women, dialysis patients and those suffering from ailments such as Thalassemia are attended to. He exhorted the States/ UTs to promote voluntary blood donation and arranging mobile units for safe blood donation for adequate supply of blood at any point of time.
Dr Harsh Vardhan also reviewed the status of dedicated COVID-19 hospitals in the country. He said “There is a need to establish dedicated COVID-19 hospitals in each district of the country and notify them as soon as possible so that people are informed about them.”
Dr Harsh Vardhan reviewed the requirement and the adequacy of PPEs, N95 masks, testing kits, drugs and ventilators with each State, and assured that Government of India is trying its best to ensure there is no shortage of supplies of these critical items; orders for various requirements have already been placed. He stated that the partial requirements of States vis-a-vis the need indicated by them have been addressed. He said that detailed guidelines for which category of healthworkers/professionals need to use which category of PPEs, are available on the Ministry’s website (www.mohfw.gov.in) and States need to create awareness about their rational use too. He also stated that the Guidelines for face cover are also available on the Ministry’s website and these can be effectively used in communities. Further, while commending the various efforts of the States, he said that they may also emulate the best practices of each other.
He also urged all to download and use the ArogyaSetu App as it will enable people to assess the risk of their catching the Corona Virus infection.” Once installed in a smart phone, the app can calculate the risk of infection based on sophisticated parameters,” he said.
Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW), Sanjeeva Kumar, Spl. Secretary, and senior officers from the Health Ministry along with representatives from ICMR were also present during the review meeting.