Dr Harsh Vardhan reviews status, actions, preparedness for COVID-19

New Delhi [India], Mar 15 (ANI): Union Minister of Health and Family Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday reviewed the status, actions taken by States, UTs, and their preparedness regarding prevention, containment, and management of COVID-19.

The minister was apprised of the emerging international and national status on COVID-19, and the steps by the Central Government and the states/UTs for prevention, containment, and management of COVID-19, according to an official statement.

He reviewed the status and preparedness of the States, UTs in terms of quarantine facilities, isolation wards, adequacy of personal protective equipment (PPE), masks, testing kits, and so on.

The Union Minister also advised States/UTs for maintaining hygiene and cleanliness in the hospitals and adhere to all laid down protocols for the containment and management of COVID-19.

He reviewed the steps taken by various states for social distancing in great detail. The measures taken for avoiding non-essential travel and mass gatherings was also reviewed.

The Union Health Minister discussed further measures to be taken for strengthening capacities of the states, mass awareness among the people for prevention through social distancing, work-from-home, etc. The management of quarantine facilities was discussed in detail at the review meeting.

Outcomes of the discussion of the meeting held today shall be put up to the Group of Ministers (GOM) on COVID-19, at their meeting on March 16.

Dr Harsh Vardhan has directed for scaling up the capacity of the 24x7 Control Room Helpline (011-23978046) by adding more lines and additional human resources to serve the queries on COVID19.

In addition, as part of the efforts of the government to evacuate Indian citizens from COVID-19 affected countries, an Air India flight from Milan, Italy, arrived in Delhi this morning carrying 218 evacuees. These evacuees are quarantined at the ITBP Camp at Chhawla, as per protocol.

In addition, the third batch of 236 evacuees from Iran arrived on Sunday. They are being quarantined at the Army facility in Jaisalmer. They have already been tested prior to their departure from Iran. All are reported to be asymptomatic at present.

Also, a total of 265 passengers coming from COVID-19 affected countries have been quarantined at Trivandrum, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad.

As of now, 23 new cases have been detected since the last update. Of these, 17 are from Maharashtra, two from Telangana, one from Rajasthan and three from Kerala. Both deceased patients had pre-existing co-morbidities. Contract tracing of these cases is being rigorously pursued. So far, this has led to the identification of more than 4,000 contacts who have been put under surveillance. (ANI)