Govt reconstitutes empowered groups on COVID-19; oxygen, vaccination included too

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New Delhi, May 29 (PTI) The Centre on Saturday reconstituted the six empowered groups set up for COVID-19 management to make 10 panels, expanding their ambit to look into issues like availability of oxygen, vaccination, emergency response and economic welfare measures.

According to an official order, the issues related to oxygen production, import, establishment of PSA plants will be dealt with by an empowered group, whose convenor will be the Secretary in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and it will have 10 members.

The convenor for the empowered group on vaccination, vaccine procurement, import etc, will be NITI Aayog member V K Paul. It will have nine other members, including the Foreign Secretary.

The convenor for the empowered group for testing will be Director General of the ICMR Balram Bhargava and it will have eight other members.

The convenor for the empowered group on economic and welfare measure will be the Economic Affairs Secretary and it will have 10 members.

The convenor for the information, communication and public engagement will be the Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and it will have 10 other members.

The convenor for the empowered group for emergency management plan and strategy will be V K Paul, member NITI Aayog and it will have 10 other members, the convenor for the empowered group for emergency response capabilities will be the Union Health Secretary and it will have 10 other members.

The convenor of the empowered group for pandemic response and coordination will be the Union Home Secretary and it will have 11 other members.

The convenor for the empowered group for augmenting human resources and capacity building will be the Union Labour Secretary and it will have nine other members.

The convenor for the empowered group for partnerships with private sector, NGOs and others will be NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and it will have nine other members.

In an order, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said the decision has been taken following a review of the COVID-19 situation the country 'and a need has been felt to reconstitute the six empowered groups into ten groups in order to cater to the current need of the COVID-19 management'. PTI ACB TIR TIR

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