New Delhi [India], Mar 7 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday reviewed the coronavirus outbreak in the country at a meeting with health officials and asked them to identify sufficient locations for quarantine and also for critical care provisioning in case of the disease spreads further.
The prime minister also asked them to identify best practices for COVID-19 management from across the world. The meeting was attended by Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, minister of state for health Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Cabinet Secretary, Rajiv Gauba; Member of Niti Aayog, Vinod K Paul, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat among others.
Secretaries of Health, Pharma, Civil Aviation, External Affairs, Health Research, Home, Shipping, NDMA and other officials were also present at the meeting.
All departments should work in convergence and action shall be initiated for creating awareness in community about the disease and the precautions to be taken, Prime Minister Modi stated.
He also complimented all departments for the work taken up so far and mentioned that India has to be prepared in its response as per the evolving scenario.
The Prime Minister exhorted the officers to identify best practices for COVID-19 management from across the world and within the states and ensure their adoption. He said that people should be advised to avoid mass gatherings as far as possible and be made aware of the Dos and Don’ts.
According to a statement officials were instructed to plan for early testing and evacuation of Indians from Iran. The prime minister also highlighted the need for advance and adequate planning and timely response as critical for managing this infectious disease from a public health perspective.
Secretary, Health and Family Welfare made a presentation on the current scenario and action taken by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and other supporting ministries with respect to preparedness and response to COVID-19.
The presentation emphasized on the core areas of surveillance at point of entry and community, laboratory support, hospital preparedness, logistics, and risk communication.
Secretary, Department of Pharma conveyed about the availability of sufficient stocks of medicines, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) and other consumables for use in India, the statement said.
Issues related to need for continued vigil at all airports, seaports and land border crossings, community level surveillance as per protocol, and ensuring availability of sufficient beds for isolation was discussed.
Union Minister Harsh Vardhan emphasized the need for effective coordination with states for timely response. Member, Niti Ayog emphasized the need for increasing surge capacity for hospitalization. The request obtained for evacuation of Indians from Iran was highlighted.
While addressing the media, Sanjeeva Kumar, Special Secretary – Health, said, “52 laboratories are now operation across the country for testing COVID-19 virus. Additional 57 laboratories have been provided with Viral Transport Media and swabs for sample collection.”
“Between yesterday morning and today, 73,766 passengers from 573 flights have undergone screening at airports. This brings the total number of passengers screened to 7,26,122 from 7,108 flights,” Kumar said. So far, 34 positive cases of coronavirus have been reported in India.
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