Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, held a video conference to review actions and preparedness for COVID-19 management through Video Conference (VC), with Health Ministers, Chief Secretaries/Health Secretaries of all States and UTs.

Suggestions during the Video Conference:

  1. There is a need to make dedicated COVID-19 hospitals in each district of the country and notify them as soon as possible so that people are informed about them.
  2. Detailed guidelines for which category of healthworker/professional need to use which category of PPE should be utilised and States need to create awareness about their rational use too.

MoHFW Released guidelines on blood transfusions and voluntary blood donation to ensure adequate stocks of blood & blood components, especially for those patients where blood transfusions is a life saving measure.

Government of India Steps

  • Government of India has announced a sanction of Rs 15,000 Cr for ‘India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package’.
  • These funds can be used for treatment of COVID-19 patients and strengthen the medical infrastructure of the country with primary focus on COVID-19.
  • This will boost the number of COVID-19 testing facilities and can be used to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Isolation beds, ICU beds, Ventilators and other essential medical equipment and training of medical and paramedical manpower.

Steps taken by Ministry of Home Affairs

  • MHA issues 5th Addendum to EXEPMT Operations (such as: feeding and maintenance, harvesting, processing, packaging) of Marine Fishing/Aquaculture Industry and its Workers from lockdown restrictions to fight COVID-19.
  • Union Minister for Home Affairs reviewed border guarding arrangements, at India – Pakistan and India – Bangladesh borders, with BSF Command and Sector Headquarters through video-conferencing.

Recommendations in BSF Video Conference:

  1. Vigil on border may be intensified, especially along the unfenced area, to ensure that no cross border movement is allowed.
  2. Farmers in the border areas must be educated about COVID-19 and the preventive measures to be taken to prevent its spread in these areas.
  3. Ensure that the people do not venture across the border fence inadvertently.

Activities of the BSF formations so far:

  1. Awareness campaigns, as per the guidelines of Ministry of Health
  2. Sanitization efforts, wherever possible in the villages
  3. Providing face masks and soaps for hand wash
  4. Providing ration, potable water and medical facilities to the needy, including remote villages, migratory laborers, daily wage earners and stranded truck drivers in border areas
  • MHA directs all States/UTs to ensure strict compliance of lockdown measures to fight COVID—19 and not allow any social/religious gathering/procession.
    • District authorities and field agencies were informed on the specific prohibitions as mentioned in the Consolidated Guidelines on Lockdown Measures and that they should take all required precautionary / preventive measures for maintenance of law and order, peace and public tranquillity.
    • Appropriate vigil on social media should also be maintained against circulation of any objectionable content, the communication adds.
    • It adds that for violation of any lockdown measure, action under the relevant penal provisions of the Disaster Management Act 2005 and IPC should be taken by the law enforcing agencies.

Steps and Innovations by various Institutions

  • Online training on Pregnancy and Labour Management has been taken up by AIIMS as part of their Webinars.
  • SCTIMST scientists develop disinfection gateway & facemask disposal bin to fight COVID-19. Hydrogen Peroxide fumes will decontaminate the body, hands, and clothes of a person and the UV system will decontaminate the chamber.
  • DST supported start-up to make natural, alcohol-free sanitizer to combat COVID 19. The bio-surfactant based disinfecting solutions are biodegradable, environmentally friendly, and easy on skin.
  • Disinfection Walkway and Road Sanitizer Unit by CSIR-CMERI, Durgapur to fight  COVID 19.
    • The Disinfection Walkways can be deployed at multiple critical locations such as Isolation/Quarantine facilities, Mass Transit System Entry points, Medical Centres and any other location with a considerable amount of footfall.
    • The CSIR-CMERI Road Sanitizer Unit is a tractor-mounted Road Sanitizing System. This Road Sanitization unit can be effectively deployed in long stretches of highways, vicinity of toll plazas etc, where there is a massive volume of traffic and higher chances of infection spreading. It can also be deployed in Housing Complexes, Office Complexes, Sports Arenas, Apartment buildings etc.
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