Updated: April 4, 2020 5:32:49 pm
As the total number of novel coronavirus cases across the country near 3,000, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday chaired a meeting of Empowered Groups constituted for planning and ensuring implementation of COVID-19 response activities in the nation. During the meeting, PM Modi took stock of countrywide preparedness regarding the availability of hospitals, proper isolation and quarantine facilities as well as disease surveillance, testing and critical care training, Office of the PM tweeted.
He further directed concerned groups and officials to ensure sufficient production, procurement and availability of all essential medical equipment such as PPEs, masks, gloves and ventilators.
Earlier in the day, Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said ventilator production are in the advanced stages and will reach states soon even as he assured that there is no shortage of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) kits, N95 masks.
Following the healthy ministry’s directive, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) put curbs on exports of diagnostic kits with immediate effect. The move would help in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis as these kits are required for testing of patients. “The export of diagnostic kits (diagnostic or laboratory reagents on a backing, preparation diagnostic or laboratory reagents)… is restricted with immediate effect,” the DGFT notification read.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has urged people to use homemade face masks, saying “such people who are not suffering from any medical condition or having breathing difficulties may use the handmade reusable face cover, particularly when they step out of their house.”
The Prime Minister has asked citizens light candles and diyas or switch on torches or mobile phones for nine minutes at 9 pm on Sunday to “illuminate the common purpose we are all fighting for”. In a video address to the nation at 9 am on Friday, Modi asked the people to unleash the “superpower of 130 crore Indians” to challenge the darkness of the coronavirus crisis with the “glory of light”.
With the recent rise in the number of novel coronavirus cases, the country so far has recorded 2,092 cases, including 68 deaths and 183 recovered.
Here’s a quick Coronavirus guide from Express Explained to keep you updated: What can cause a COVID-19 patient to relapse after recovery? | COVID-19 lockdown has cleaned up the air, but this may not be good news. Here’s why | Can alternative medicine work against the coronavirus? | A five-minute test for COVID-19 has been readied, India may get it too | How India is building up defence during lockdown | Why only a fraction of those with coronavirus suffer acutely | How do healthcare workers protect themselves from getting infected? | What does it take to set up isolation wards?
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