From Our Bureau                       

25th APRIL 2020

A total of 24,942 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the country so far and the death toll mounted to 779 on Saturday.  As many as 5,209 persons have been cured/discharged after recovery, according to the latest update from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The 13th meeting of the high level Group of Ministers (GoM) on COVID-19 was held at Nirman Bhawan, here today, under the chairpersonship of Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare.

A detailed presentation on the status of COVID-19 in the country along with the response and management of COVID-19 were made for the GoM. The GoM had detailed deliberation on the measures taken as on date by the Central Government and various States/Union Territories for prevention, containment and management of COVID-19.

GoM was informed that all districts have been asked to follow and further strengthen their contingency plans to combat COVID-19; the GOM was briefed on the state-wise details of dedicated COVID-19 hospitals along with the adequacy of isolation beds/ wards, PPEs, N95 masks, drugs, ventilators, oxygen cylinders etc.

GoM was also informed that domestic manufactures which have been identified earlier have already started the production of PPEs, masks etc., and adequate quantity of the same is available. As on date, more than 1 lakh PPEs and N95 masks are being manufactured every day in the country. There are at present 104 domestic manufacturers of PPE and three units making N95 masks in the country. In addition, production of ventilators by domestic manufacturers has also started and orders have been placed for more than 59,000 units through nine manufacturers.

GoM reviewed the testing strategy and availability of testing kits across the country along with the strategy for hotspots and cluster management. GoM was briefed about the number of public and private labs presently testing for COVID-19 along with the number of tests that are being conducted every day through this network of labs.

GoM deliberated on various tasks assigned to various empowered committees and presentations were made by the various Groups headed by Amitabh Kant, Dr. Arun Kumar Panda and Pradeep Kharola. GoM was apprised that around 92,000 NGOs, Self Help Groups and civil society organisations are working and contributing by providing food to the migrant workers across various States/UTs. These NGOs are supported by the States by allotting fund from SDRF funds and by Food Corporation of India which is providing the foodgrains at subsidized cost.

GoM was also informed that a national level meta-data of health workers, NSS, NYK, NCC, doctors etc., has been prepared and shared to all the States, Districts and other officials, to mobilise the resources/ volunteers (COVID warriors) to much needed locations.

There is presently data for more than 1.24 crore human resources on the dashboard and it is continuously being updated with addition of new groups and sub groups as per specialization. The dashboard contains State and District wise information about the number of human resources available from each group, along with the contact details of respective State and District Nodal officers.

These COVID warriors are being trained through online platforms such as MoHFW website and the iGOT training portal. The platform has 14 courses with 53 modules with includes 113 videos and 29 documents. As on date, more than 10 lakh personnel have been trained.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan commended the dedication and hard work of all the stakeholders at all levels. He informed that in view of the urgent need for addressing the issues of stigma and discrimination of patients and also the healthcare workers combating with COVID-19, the Ordinance for amendment of Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 has been recently promulgated with very stringent provisions.

“This is not only their fight, but our collective effort. They are our frontline warriors and as a nation, let us not only respect their contribution but ensure that their safety and dignity are protected too”, Dr Harsh Vardhan stated.

GoM was apprised that as of now the death rate is around 3.1 percent while recovery rate is more than 20 percent which is comparatively better than most of the countries and may be taken as a positive effect of the Lockdown in the country along with the cluster management & containment strategy. The average doubling rate of the country is 9.1 days, as of now.  (eom)

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