Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has deployed high level multi-disciplinary Central teams to 15 States/UTs with more than 50 districts/municipal bodies that are witnessing high case load and high spurt of cases to assist the State Governments by providing technical support for containment and facilitate management of COVID-19 outbreak.
These States/UTs are: Maharashtra (7 districts/municipalities), Telangana (4), Tamil Nadu (7), Rajasthan (5), Assam (6), Haryana (4), Gujarat (3), Karnataka (4), Uttarakhand (3), Madhya Pradesh (5), West Bengal (3), Delhi (3), Bihar (4), Uttar Pradesh (4), and Odisha (5).
The three-member teams are composed of two public health experts/epidemiologists/clinicians and a senior Joint Secretary level nodal officer for administrative handholding and improving governance.
These teams are working in the field and visiting health care facilities to support the State health department in implementation of containment measures and efficient treatment/clinical management of cases within the districts/cities.
In order to ensure better coordination, quick action on the ground, adoption of a more granular strategy, it is proposed that these districts/municipalities should regularly remain in touch with central teams which are already coordinating with the States.
Such frequent interaction would further strengthen the surveillance, containment, testing and treatment related action on the ground.
The central teams are assisting the States/UTs in addressing some of the challenges faced by the State/UT authorities such testing bottlenecks, low tests/per million population,, high confirmation rates, high testing confirmation rate, risk of capacity shortfall over the next two months, potential bed shortage, growing Case Fatality Rate, high doubling rate, sudden spike in active cases, etc.
Many districts/municipalities have already formalised a dedicated Core Team at the district level comprising of district level medical and administrative officials to coordinate over regular basis with the Central Team.
Press Briefing on the actions taken, preparedness & updates on COVID-19 :
48,534 people cured of COVID19 66,330 people under active medical supervision 3,334 patients cured in last 24 hours Recovery rate has improved to ~ 41% Case fatality rate has improved to 3.02%
27,55,714 #COVID19 tests have been done till 1 PM today Today has been the 4th day when more than 1 lakh tests have been done in one day.
Chairman, Empowered Group 1 presented how India’s timely, graded, proactive and preemptive response has helped the nation:
The growth rate of COVID19 cases has witnessed a steady fall from April 3, 2020, when lockdown was able to put a brake on the speed of growth. The number of cases today would have been much higher, had lockdown not been implemented.
Like no. of cases, growth rate of no. of COVID19 deaths too has fallen significantly due to lockdown, marking a notable difference between pre-lockdown and post-lockdown situations.
80% of active cases are in just 5 states, more than 60% cases are in just 5 cities, the spread of #COVID19 infection has remained limited to certain areas, this is no small achievement, also gives confidence to open up other areas.
This is not a battle, but a movement, a Jan Andolan. Awareness is not enough, change in behaviour is required. Our biggest strength going forward will be our Sankalp which will be required to transform it into Siddhi.
We have to be very cautious. If we relax, virus will spread. We need to adopt practices such as wearing masks, maintaining DoGajKiDoori, hygiene, protecting vulnerable, boost our immunity, which make it difficult for the virus to spread
Secretary, @GoIStats presented model-based estimates on the COVID19 cases and deaths which have been prevented due to lockdown :
The challenge in modelling COVID19 has been that there is no parallel here, for a pandemic like COVID-19; hence, we have been learning as we went along.
According to @BCG‘s model, lockdown has saved between 1.2 – 2.1 lakh lives, number of COVID19 cases averted is between 36 – 70 lakh
According to @thePHFI, nearly 78,000 lives have been saved due to lockdown
To cut the story short… No. of #COVID19 cases averted due to lockdown is in range of 14 – 29 lakh No. of lives saved – 37,000 – 78,000
We are fully confident that lockdown, with full public cooperation, has reaped rich dividends.
Lockdown has been highly beneficial in our fight against COVID19, we are confident that we are on the right track
Excerpts from the Press briefing on the actions taken, preparedness and updates on COVID-19 :
67,152 confirmed COVID19 cases so far (4,213 new cases since yesterday), 44,029 cases are under active medical supervision, 20,917 people cured so far; 1559 in the last 24 hours, Total recovery rate 31.15%
National Institute of Virology, Pune has developed and validated indigenous IgG ELISA test Covid Kavach Elisa for antibody detection for COVID19
An app has been developed which enables field level officers to mark hot spots and containment zones on map, so that required guidelines can be enforced in that area.
Aarogya Setu App will soon reach a user base of 10 crore; it has created a world record in being the fastest app to reach 5 crore users. Privacy first – this has been the principle on which the app has been developed.
We combine the movement history of positive patients with the self-assessment data submitted by others, this enables us to identify potential hot spot areas and take preventive action; info on 697 such spots have been sent to states/districts.
It is a very irresponsible news; COVID19 does not affect a particular religion or a race or an area: @MoHFW_INDIA on certain media reports claiming that government is mulling religion based mapping of hotspots.
We have to try together that whoever develops symptoms of COVID19 should not hide, rather step out and get timely treatment. If we do not do this, we will not only be ill but put our families’ health at risk
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan interacts via Video Conferencing with Health Ministers & senior officials of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura and Sikkim on the current COVID-19 situation.
Dr Harsh Vardhan says, more than 15.25 lakh tests done till now. Our per day testing capacity has jumped to 95,000; more than 84,600 tests done yesterday. We have 453 test labs in Govt & Pvt sectors today.
We have decided to launch a new scheme “Nekarara Sammana yojane”. Under this scheme Government will deposit Rs.2,000 directly to the bank account of the handloom weavers through DBT. 54,000 handloom weavers will be benefitted.
Relief to Large Industries: To support large industries to overcome the difficulties of lockdown we have decided that payment of fixed charges in the Electricity bills of large industries will be deferred without penalty and interest for a period of two months.
Handholding MSMEs: MSMEs have suffered huge losses and are struggling to sustain due to lockdown. To rescue MSMEs from this unprecedented shock it has been decided to waive off monthly fixed charges of electricity bills of MSMEs for two months.
Relief for Auto and Taxi Drivers: We have decided to provide financial support of Rs. 5000 to auto and taxi drivers who have lost their income due to lockdown. This will help about 7,75,000 auto and taxi drivers in the state.
Professions like Barbers and Washer men (dhobis) have lost their livelihoods due to lockdown. We have decided to provide one time compensation of Rs.5,000/- to each which will benefit about 60,000 washer men and about 2,30,000 barbers.
Floriculturists who have lost demand for their produce due to lockdown will get a compensation of Rs.25,000/- per hectare. This will benefit farmers who have cultivated flowers in about 11,687 hectares.
Supriya Sule, @supriya_sule, Member of Parliament Baramati, Maharashtra :
Discussed the Issue of Women Safety and Domestic Violence on Facebook through a live session.
Along with the COVID-19 pandemic outside,there is a ‘shadow pandemic’ raging inside Indian homes.
The lockdown means that a woman cannot step out of the house to escape her abusive spouse.
We have taken this proactive step to prevent similar cases from occurring in the Pune rural region. Vigilance committees, consisting of women from three agencies — the Women and Child Department, Anganwadi workers from self-help groups (SHGs) and panchayat samitis — will visit houses in each ward of a gram panchayat.
The tormentors would be transferred to an institutional quarantine facility, which could mean a town hall or a village lodge or any other facility.
An Economic Crisis is expected to arise because of this pandemic. Unfortunately this would be all the more difficult for women to manage their household.
We will find a solution to this problem. Let us be optimistic. We will Fight and Win the war against Virus.
Shashi Tharoor, @ShashiTharoor – MP for Thiruvananthapuram:
I am delighted to announce that the first Thermal and Optical Imaging camera with Artificial Intelligence powered face detection technology in Kerala, for the purpose of fever screening has been procured through my MPLADS fund.
After a discussion between Collector Thiruvananthapuram K Gopalakrishnan and my team, it was brought to my attention that a Thermal Imaging camera with face detection technology was urgently needed in our district in order to scan from a safe distance and isolate those potentially having fever from among the huge influx of passenger flow that is seen at our airport and railway stations.
This was bought to India by Sajeev Jacob, Tertabaic GMbh and Anand Mohan Raj. It was purchased through my MPLADS fund(through a proposal I had submitted last month).
Due to the unavailability of Thermal cameras in Asia, the procurement was done in Amsterdam and was first transferred to Bonn, Germany and then subsequently airlifted on a special aircraft belonging to DHL, which was made possible by Joseph Noby, DHL South India Area Manager who helped us immensely to receive the consignment in Bangalore in 3-4 days using multiple flight connections covering Cologne, Paris, Leipzig, Brussels, Bahrain and Dubai before finally reaching Bangalore. At the last leg of the logistical supply chain, Rohith Suresh of my Thiruvananthapuram team and Anand Mohan Rajan travelled to Bangalore to receive it from DHL officials.
The installation will be done at our Airport/Railway Station/MCH. Since all MPLADS fund has been exhausted, we are approaching other corporate groups to partner with us and the district administration to procure more of this highly sophisticated technological device prior to the huge influx of expatriates from the middle east and other areas overseas.
I would like to thank our District collector Thiruvananthapuram K Gopalakrishnan, for the superb and effective interstate coordination and Vivekanand, Asst Commissioner, Customs for helping us with the speedy clearance of the Customs procedure.
AICC Press Briefing By P Chidambaram, former Union Finance Minister via video conferencing :
Tomorrow is the last working day of the month. More than 12 crore people of India are waiting with bated breath. They want to know if they will be paid their salaries/wages for the month of April.
There is palpable tension and rising uncertainty among the working people of India and their families.
According to Annual Report of Ministry of MSMEs, 11 crore people are engaged in 6.3 crore MSMEs. Most of them would not have worked a single day in April because entire country was in a lockdown imposed to contain the coronavirus pandemi.
How will these people feed themselves and their families without an income? These 11 crore people’s livelihoods are in danger now because most of the employers are unable to pay wages/salaries.
The businesses have had no sales this month and their payments to their vendors are also stuck, leaving the vendors also in distress. Large swathes of the private sector are faced with what economists call an extreme liquidity shock.
These businesses are unsure about their future. They don’t know whether they can continue business or will be forced to shut permanently. Time to make bold decisions to save MSMEs is now. If businesses don’t see hope, they’ll decide to close.
The Government of India has to step in today to protect 11 crore Indians and give hope to MSMEs. It is bewildering that there has been absolutely no financial package or assistance announced for businesses since the onset of COVID-19.
The Government may have the luxury of time but the MSMEs do not. They need to know right away whether they will be helped to stay afloat and thereby pay salaries/wages to those dependent on these businesses.
Congress party has submitted a proposal with specific, well thought out & concrete suggestions to help 6.3 crore MSMEs. We urge the PM to look at that proposal and immediately announce the implementation of two specific recommendation.
The recommendations are:
1. Rs 1 lakh crore Wage Protection assistance to help MSMEs pay wages and salaries for the month of April.
2. Rs 1 lakh crore Credit Guarantee fund for MSMEs that will help them to go to the banks and borrow money.
3. Further, for the non-MSMEs, we urge the government to announce a Paycheque Protection Program, similar to the one announced in the United States. This is not a legislation but a financial assistance package.
4. According to the income-tax department, there are roughly 1 crore people with a salary income of less than Rs 3,50,000 a year or Rs 30,000 a month.
5. Assuming avg salary of Rs 15,000/month for the 1 crore people, total cost comes to Rs 15,000 crore for April. This isn’t a large sum to protect livelihoods of 1 crore people who’ve filed tax returns & paid taxes in past & can be easily found.
6. The government must announce a Paycheque Protection Program right away to protect the salaries of these 1 crore employees.
7. Time is of essence. In absence of a clear signal of assistance from Govt during these times, private sector will be forced to resort to large scale retrenchments & layoffs that’ll devastate livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people.
8. We urge the Prime Minister to step in urgently and announce an assistance package to protect the wages/salaries and pay cheques that are due in the next few days.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today interacted with Chief Ministers of states via video conferencing to discuss the emerging situation and plan ahead for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was the fourth such interaction of the Prime Minister with the Chief Ministers, the earlier ones had been held on 20th March, 2nd April and 11th April, 2020. The Prime Minister underlined that :
The Lockdown has yielded positive results as the country has managed to save thousands of lives in the past one and a half months.
Due to timely measures, India has been able to protect many people. He however forewarned that the danger of the virus is far from over and constant vigilance is of paramount importance.
The country has seen two Lockdowns till now, both different in certain aspects, and now we have to think of the way ahead.
As per experts, the impact of coronavirus will remain visible in the coming months. Reiterating the mantra of ‘do gaz doori’, masks and face covers will become part of our lives in the days ahead. Under the circumstances, everyone’s aim must be rapid response.
We have to be brave and bring in reforms that touch the lives of common citizens.
We have to give importance to the economy as well as continue the fight against COVID-19.
On the issue of getting back Indians who are overseas, he said that this has to be done keeping in mind the fact that they don’t get inconvenienced and their families are not under any risk.
The Indian Youth Congress has stepped up at this time of crisis to help those in need by distributing food, masks & essential supplies to our brothers & sisters in distress. I salute all our IYC leaders & workers across India for their dedication & selfless service : Rahul Gandhi