Why in news?

  • The number of COVID-19 cases in India has doubled in the past week, with 328 more cases and 12 deaths reported on April 2. According to the Union Health Ministry, the tally now stands at 2,069 cases, with 53 deaths and 155 cured of the novel coronavirus infection.
  • The Health Ministry said there were reports of several doctors, nurses and paramedics testing positive.
  • The Health Ministry confirmed that it was looking at tweaking the testing protocol, with a rapid anti-body test in hotspots, where those indicating a positive would be sent for confirmation and the others would be quarantined.

Controlling Spread in Dharavi Slum

  • The Health Ministry said extensive action was being taken in Asia’s largest slum, Dharavi in Mumbai, after a death due to COVID-19 was reported there.
  • Have sealed the building from where the case has been reported, and the collection of samples from all residents of the building is under way. As per the protocol, contact-tracing is also under way.

Handling Shortage of Equipment

  • There was a shortage of equipment, but now supply of more than 1.5 crore pieces of personal protection equipment has started.
  • Personal protection equipment has also been sent to the States, based on their needs.
  • The Ministry of Health has placed orders for more than 1 crore N95 masks.

Other Actions taken

  • The Central government has launched Aarogya Setu, a mobile application, to connect health services and the people in the combined fight against COVID-19.
  • The application will inform the users of the potential risk of infection, the best practices and medical advisories.
  • States had also been asked to take effective measures to fight fake news in order to prevent panic.
  • The Health Ministry, with the help of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), has recommended general public measures on the mental health of the elderly and children to deal with anxiety and stress due to the outbreak.
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