GoM reviews current status, containment measures of Covid-19


New Delhi, (UNI)

The 17th meeting of the high-level Group of Ministers (GoM) on Covid-19 was held under the chairpersonship of Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, to review, monitor and evaluate the evolving situation on Covid-19 with a presentation on ground situation as well as latest statistics with respect to Covid was made and further strategies drawn up. 

During the video conferencing, the Group of Ministers (GoM) was apprised of the growing medical infrastructure in the country and that as of today, the Covid related health infrastructure has been strengthened with the availability of 1,039 dedicated Covid Hospitals with 1,76,275 isolation beds, 22,940 ICU beds and 77,268 oxygen supported beds. 

In addition, there were 2,398 dedicated Covid Health Centres with 1,39,483 Isolation beds, 11,539 ICU beds and 51,321 oxygen supported beds have also been operationalised. Moreover, 8,958 Covid Care Centres with 8,10,621 beds are now available to combat the virus in the country. The Centre has also provided 185.18 lakh N95 masks and 116.74 lakh Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to the states/UTs/Central Institutions, an official release here said. 

At present, eight states -- Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Telangana, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal -- contribute 85.5 per cent of active caseload and 87 per cent of total deaths in India. As on date, 15 central teams consisting of public health experts, epidemiologists, clinicians and a senior Joint Secretary level have been deployed to provide technical support to the states. 

Another central team is currently visiting Gujarat, Maharashtra and Telangana to strengthen ongoing efforts for management of Covid-19. The GoM was also briefed about the utility of ITIHAS and Aarogya Setu in contact tracing and prediction of potential hotspot areas which have been extensively used by state/UT Governments in preparing the Covid-19 containment strategy. 

The GoM was informed that the key focus areas which are continually communicated to the states or UTs are strict containment measures and surveillance; utilising full testing capacity; focus on monitoring of co-morbidity and elderly population. Predicting emerging hotspots leveraging digital tools such as Aarogya Setu; ensuring seamless patient admission processes; fatality mitigation by effective clinical management; focus on infrastructure preparedness (critical care beds, oxygen, ventilators and logistics); and ensuring that non-Covid healthcare services are not impacted were other issues. 

Dr Bharagava, DG (ICMR) gave a detailed presentation on the testing strategy of ICMR. He explained about the serological survey, and the increasing capacity for enhanced per day testing through various tests. The samples tested in the last 24 hours have increased to 2,20,479 taking the total cumulative number of samples tested, as on date, to 79,96,707. India now has 1026 diagnostic labs dedicated to COVID-19. This includes 741 in the government sector and 285 private labs, he stated. 

In a detailed presentation by K Shivaji, Chairman of the Empowered Group-10, the GoM was briefed that the stipulated redressal time on COVID-19 public grievances was brought down from the usual 60 days for normal public grievances to three days to prioritize their quick disposal. National Dashboard for 'Covid-19' was launched on April 1, 2020 for exclusive monitoring of Covid-19 public grievances. During the period from March 30 to June 24, 2020, the Empowered Group disposed 93.84 per cent of the 77,307 grievances received for central Ministries and 63.11 per cent of the 53,130 grievances received pertaining to the state governments. 

Preeti Sudan, Health Secretary, Rajesh Bhushan, OSD (MoHFW), Amitabh Kant, CEO (Niti Aayog), P D Vaghela, Secy (Pharma), Parameswaran Iyer, Secy (DWS), Dr Rajiv Garg, DGHS (MoHFW), Arti Ahuja, Addl. Secretary (MoHFW), Dammu Ravi, Addl Secy (MEA), Dr S K Singh, Director (NCDC) participated through virtual media. 


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