Empowered groups to deal with Covid-19Approx Read Time: 5 minutes
- The government has formed 10 empowered groups and a strategic task force comprising senior civil servants to deal with the Covid-19 outbreak and its aftermath.
Data regarding COVID-19 outbreak in India:
- Till 31 March 2020, the Health ministry reported 1397 total confirmed cases of Covid-19. Of this, 1238 were active cases, whereas 124 were cured and one was migrated case. Total number of deaths stood at 35.
- While cases are increasing rapidly in last one week, the government has maintained that there is still no evidence of community transmission in India.
- States with highest number of cases:
- Top States with maximum number of infections: Maharashtra and Kerala.
- Other states where number of positive cases has gone past 50: Karnataka, Telangana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.
Steps taken by the Government to contain the spread:
- Identifying emerging hotspots:
- The Union health ministry is now identifying emerging hotspots for the infection to put in place a rigorous cluster isolation and containment strategy and avoid possibility of community transmission.
- Rigorous cluster containment strategy would be implemented at these hotspots on a war footing.
- Health risk profiling mechanism now applicable on inter-state migrants:
- The government has also expanded its surveillance mechanism to cover migrant workers who are heading out of cities to go to their native villages amid a 21-day lockdown across the country.
- The health risk profiling mechanism for international passengers will now be applicable on the migrants who have been on the move as well i.e. those who are on the trek to their home villages and towns will have to undergo risk profiling.
- Those with symptoms will be kept in isolation facility and undergo treatment if tested positive and others advised 14 days of home quarantine as per the protocol and will be under rigorous monitoring.
- The exercise is crucial to avoid spread of the novel coronavirus in the community, either from the clusters or through those travelling from one city to another.
- Separate treatment facilities for Covid-19 patients:
- To avoid cross-infection, the Centre has asked states to create dedicated separate treatment facilities for Covid-19 patients to avoid cross-infection.
- Upgrading health logistics:
- The government is also upgrading health logistics including procurement and manufacturing of personal protective equipment (PPEs), ventilators and other essential equipment.
- The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has asked States to coordinate with manufacturers of gloves, hand sanitizers and masks to address shortages in these products.
- 68 bureaucrats to lead corona fight:
- The government has formed ten empowered groups and a strategic task force, together comprising around 68 bureaucrats, as it seeks to move comprehensively and with speed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The ten empowered groups will be headed by secretaries from different ministries and government departments and look at specific issues related to Covid-19 management.
- The groups will consult frequently over video conferencing or meetings to provide suggestions to the government.
- They will also monitor their areas of ambit daily and are empowered to take decisions, indicating the pace with which the Centre wants these groups to act.
- The task force comprises of six members and will look at strategic issues related to the lockdown.
- The task force will report directly to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is empowered to take decisions.
- It is an attempt to forge a planning and implementation machinery that acts in concert to minimize the impact of the disease.