With rising number of Covid-19 cases rising in Gujarat and with patients taking to social media to air their complaints, the state government has appointed eight senior IAS officers to coordinate activities and treatment in various parts of the state.
Five of these senior officers will be keeping an eye on the activities in Ahmedabad city and in the remaining parts of the district where the number of Covid-19 infections have shot up by over 1190 cases on Monday morning. There are total of 1850 positive cases in the state including those in Surat (244) and Vadodara (181).
“In order to ensure that Corona infections do not spread further in the state, especially in Ahmedabad, to provide proper and quick treatment to Covid-19 positive patients, to save lives by focusing on patients on ventilators and to ensure that there is no disruption in supplies of essential commodities, the government has appointed special officers for this purpose,” said Ashwini Kumar, secretary to chief minister Vijay Rupani.
Kumar said the officials have been appointed for Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Surat districts and will coordinate with local administration. Among the senior most to be appointed is Punamchand Parmar, Additional chief secretary, agriculture. Parmar has been given the responsibility to monitor the health of all the Covid patients who are currently on ventilators. “This is to ensure there is no lapse in treatment protocols,” Kumar said.
Mukesh Puri, Additional chief secretary, urban development department has been appointed to monitor and supervise and effective implementation of the covid treatment being given in hospitals under Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC). At the same time, another senior officer, A K Rakesh, Additional chief secretary, Panchayat and rural development department, will monitor steps taken to control the infection in the remaining part of Ahmedabad district that do not fall under AMC. He has also been given the work to ensure that essential supplies are not disrupted.
Milind Torwane, secretary (economic affairs), finance department has been asked to coordinate the health measures in new Covid-19 hospital in Ahmedabad civil hospitals campus and all other hospitals in MediCity campus in Ahmedabad like the kidney hospital, cancer hospitals. A fifth officer, Dilip Rana, Commissioner, Tribal Development has been appointed to coordinate and supervise the activities at the Covid care centre in Ahmedabad.
Among other officers who have been given similar charges is Vinod Rao, secretary, education department who will supervise and implement all the health measures being taken in the urban and rurals areas of Vadodara. He will also ensure that the workers get food and no hurdles occur to essential supplies during the lockdown.
Secretary Women and child department Manisha Chandra have been given the work of monitoring and surveillance of covid-19 in the entire state, while Jenu Devan who is the managing director of Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited has been given charge of coordinating with the district administration in Surat to see that the labour force do not face any issues.
The appointment of fresh hands to tackle Covid-19 comes after the state government had appointed four senior IAS officers on March 20 to closely monitor and provide guidance to the local administration related to Corona virus. This includes Additional chief secretary, revenue department, Pankaj Kumar for Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, MS Patel, Commissioner of Municipalities for Surat. Vinod Rao, secretary, education department for Vadodara and Industries Commissioner Rahul Gupta for Rajkot district.
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