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Coronavirus outbreak: Health Minister Harsh Vardhan chairs GOM meeting to assess situation

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan Harsh Vardhan held a Group of Ministers (GoM) meeting at Nirman Bhawan on Wednesday to assess the coronavirus situation in the country.

In the meeting, it discussed strengthening the capacity of states to provide PPEs, ventilators, and other essential equipment, etc to the medical faculty working at dedicated  COVID-19 hospitals.

The GOM has also asked the state to ensure that essential services and supplies remain open during the time of crisis.

“These include hospitals, medical shops, and establishments engaged in the manufacturing of medicines, vaccines, sanitizers, masks, and medical devices,“ the press release stated.

“GoM was also informed that Gujarat, Assam, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Goa, Karnataka, MP, and J&K are setting up hospitals dedicated to the management of COVID-19,“ the press release further added,

It also informed that a total of 118 laboratories are available for COVID-19 testing.

Harsh Vardhan also reiterated the importance of social distancing at this time. He appealed to everyone to pay heed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi~s call for a lockdown, and stay within their homes to prevent further spread of the infection.

Moreover, he said that around 64,000 persons have arrived from other countries to India since  March 21, 2020, out of which 8,000 have been put in various quarantine facilities and 56,000 are in home isolation.

“We are fighting infectious disease. In order to protect ourselves and others, it is highly important that we follow all the protocols, guidelines and directions issued by the Government, failing which may lead to legal actions u/s 188 of IPC,“ he stated.

He further urged everyone not to ostracise doctors and medical staff members who are serving the public during the time of severe crisis.  

The total number of positive cases in India has crossed the 600 mark.