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Coronavirus: Empowered group likely to firm up medical emergency plan in next few days

“The group is expected to come up with a medical emergency action plan in the next few days,” a source said.

Written by Harikishan Sharma | New Delhi | Updated: March 31, 2020 8:01:25 am
coronavirus india lockdown, coronavirus update, medical emergency plan, coronavirus  medical emergency corona, coronavirus update in india The geographical distribution of health infrastructure was also assessed, sources said. (File Photo)

A day after the government formed an empowered group of officers on ‘medical emergency management plan’, the six-member group, headed by NITI Aayog member V K Paul, held its first meeting on Monday and discussed the various scenarios in which the number of COVID-19 cases can change in the coming month.

“The group is expected to come up with a medical emergency action plan in the next few days,” a source said.

The group, which comprises senior officials from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Cabinet Secretariat, Department of Biotechnology, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), also took an assessment of supplies such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators required to deal with emergency situations, it is learnt.

The geographical distribution of health infrastructure was also assessed, sources said.

The group under Paul is one of the 11 empowered groups of officers constituted by Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla on Sunday “for planning and ensuring implementation of COVID-19 response activities”.

Another empowered group constituted for ‘coordinating with private sector, NGOs and international organisations for response-related activities’ also had its first meeting under the chairmanship of NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.

Sources said the group interacted with representatives of industry bodies such as FICCI and CII, and 32 civil society organisations (CSOs).

During the meeting, Kant is learnt to have urged CSOs to support the local administration in addressing issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic and by running decentralised kitchens and shelters for homeless and migrant workers, partner with state and local governments to minimise adverse effects of the spread of coronavirus.

He is learnt to have asked them to identify the infected patients and those most affected, and assisting people requiring hospital admissions; establishing and operating quarantine and isolation centres in taluk headquarters of more rural districts.

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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