New Delhi: Preeti Sudan, Secretary of Health & Family Welfare, chaired a video conference with Health Secretaries from States & UTs along with senior officials from the Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Civil Aviation, and Ministry of Tourism to review their preparedness for prevention and management of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) here today.
Sudan shared that various precautionary measures have been undertaken in close coordination with the concerned ministries at the central level. She added that the situation is under control in the country and is being regularly monitored by the Prime Minister’s Office, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, and Cabinet Secretary on a regular basis regarding the updates, status of preparedness, and actions taken so far.
In addition, the Group of Ministers is also reviewing the status; two meetings of the GoM have been held till date. States were informed that while the cases have not increased in the country, the vigil needs to be kept high. States were urged to keep enhancing awareness among the masses for prevention through personal hygiene, and self-reporting in case of any travel from China and other identified countries.
States were advised to regularly fill the requisite information accurately and in a timely manner on the portal which has been put in place as a special surveillance web tool to monitor cases on a real time basis, and to help in national-level monitoring.
Sudan further elaborated that containment and prevention activities shall be taken up on utmost priority. All the states need to strengthen their rapid response teams to counter any eventuality, she declared, adding that there also needs to be role clarity and robust administrative structures in place at all districts.
Sudan stated that one patient, a student from Wuhan University, who tested positive for COVID-19 thereby becoming the country’s second such case, was on Thursday discharged from the isolation ward of the Alappuzha Medical College hospital, Kerala. She commended the efforts put in by the States & UTs and various ministries to combat the situation arise due to the coronavirus in India.
States & UTs have reported that the protocols and guidelines issued are being followed to avoid any eventuality. They further informed that sufficient stocks for personal protection equipments and masks have been procured.
The states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, and Sikkim, bordering Nepal, have been advised to strengthen the disease surveillance.