State governments asked to be on alert to prevent coronavirus

Student who returned from China with infection has been cured and discharged from Kerala hospital

The man had returned to Kalaburagi from Saudi Arabia. Photo: Representative purpose only.

State governments have been asked to keep a close vigil on coronavirus COVID-19 cases and ensure that prevention and control are in place at all times.

In a communication to State governments today, Union Health and Family Welfare Secretary, Preeti Sudan stressed on enhancing the awareness among the masses for prevention through personal hygiene, and self-reporting in case of any travel from China and other identified countries.

Though the number of COVID-19 cases have not increased in the country, Sudan asked State Governments to be fully prepared to ensure that all preventing measures are complied with since prevention is better than cure.

Sudan also asked States Governments to regularly fill the requisite information accurately and in a timely manner on the portal which has been put in place as a special surveillance web tool to monitor the cases on a real-time basis, and to help in national-level monitoring.

She chaired a video conference (VC) with Health Secretaries from States/UTs along with senior officials from Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Ministry of Tourism to review their preparedness for prevention and management of COVID-19.

Sudan informed that various precautionary measures have been undertaken in close coordination with the concerned ministries at the central level. She added that the situation is under control in the country and is being regularly monitored by the Prime Minister’s Office, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare and Cabinet Secretary on a regular basis regarding the updates, status of preparedness and actions taken so far. In addition, the Group of Ministers is also reviewing the status; two meetings of the GOM have been held till date.

Related news: One of Kerala’s three coronavirus patients discharged after recovery

Sudan made it clear that containment and prevention activities shall be taken up on the utmost priority. All the states need to strengthen their rapid response teams to counter any eventuality. Also, there needs to be role clarity and robust administrative structures in place at all Districts.

Sudan said that one patient, a student from Wuhan University, who tested positive for the COVID19 thereby becoming the country’s second such case, was on Thursday discharged from the isolation ward of the Alappuzha Medical College hospital, Kerala. She commended the efforts put on by all the States/UTs and various ministries to combat the situation arise due to COVID19 in India.

States/UTs have reported that the protocols and guidelines issued are being followed to avoid any eventuality. They further informed that the sufficient stocks for Personal Protection Equipments and masks have been procured. States of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim bordering Nepal have been advised to strengthen the disease surveillance.

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