The 13thmeeting of the high level Group of Ministers (GoM) on COVID-19 was held at Nirman Bhawan, here today, under the chairpersonship of Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare. Sh. Hardeep S. Puri, Minister of Civil Aviation, Dr. S. Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, Sh. Nityananda Rai, Minister of State for Home, Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Shipping, & Chemical and Fertilizers and Sh. Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State, Health & Family Welfare were present, along with Sh. Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff. Sh. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog and Chairperson of the Empowered Group-6, Shri C K Mishra, (Environment, Forest & Climate Change) and Chairperson of the Empowered Group-2, Dr Arun K Panda, Secretary (MSME) and Chairperson of the Empowered Group-4, and Shri P D Vaghela, Chairperson, Empowered Group-3 were also present.
A detailed presentation on the status of COVID-19 in the country along with the response and management of COVID-19 in the country were made for the GoM. The Group of Ministers (GoM) had detailed deliberation on the measures taken as on date by the Centre and various States/UTs for prevention, containment and management of COVID-19. GoM was informed that all districts have been asked to follow and further strengthen their contingency plans to combat COVID-19; the GOM was briefed on the state-wise details of dedicated COVID-19 hospitals along with the adequacy of isolation beds/wards, PPEs, N95 masks, drugs, ventilators, oxygen cylinders etc. GoM was informed that domestic manufactures which have been identified earlier have already started the production of PPEs, masks etc., and adequate quantity of the same is available. As on date, more than 1 lakh PPEs and N95 masks are being manufactured everyday in the country. There are at present 104 domestic manufactures of PPE and three making N95 masks in the country. In addition, production of ventilators vide domestic manufacturers has also started and orders have been placed for more than 59,000 units through nine manufacturers.
GoM also reviewed the testing strategy and availability of testing kits across the country along with the strategy for hotspots and cluster management. GoM was briefed about the number of public and private labs presently testing for COVID-19 along with the number of tests that are being conducted every day through this network of labs.
GoM deliberated on various tasks assigned to various empowered committees and presentations were made by Sh. Amitabh Kant, Dr. Arun Kumar Panda and Sh. Pradeep Kharola. GoM was apprised that around 92,000 NGOs, SHGs and civil society organisations are working and contributing by providing food to the migrant workers across various States/UTs. These NGOs are supported by the States by allotting fund from SDRF funds and by FCI who is providing the foodgrains at subsidized cost.
GoM was also informed that a national level meta-data of health workers, NSS, NYK, NCC, doctors etc., has been prepared and shared to all the States, Districts and other officials, to mobilise the resources/volunteers (COVID warriors) to much needed locations. There is presently data for more than 1.24 cr. human resources on the dashboard and it is continuously being updated with addition of new groups and sub groups as per specialization. The dashboard contains State and District wise information about the number of human resources available from each group, along with the contact details of respective State and District Nodal officers. This database is available at https://covidwarriors.gov.in/default.aspx and is also linked with https://diksha.gov.in/igot/ portal for capacity building purpose. These COVID warriors are being trained through online platforms such as MoHFW website and the iGOT training portal. The platform has 14 courses with 53 modules with includes 113 videos and 29 documents. As on date, more than 10 lakh personnel have been trained.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan commended the dedication and hard work of all the stakeholders at all levels. He informed that in view of the urgent need for addressing the issues of stigma and discrimination of patients and also the healthcare workers combating with COVID-19, the Ordinance for amendment of Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 has been recently promulgated with very stringent provisions. “This is not only their fight, but our collective effort. They are our frontline warriors and as a nation, let us not only respect their contribution but ensure that their safety and dignity are protected too”, Dr Harsh Vardhan stated.
GoM was apprised that as of now the death rate is around 3.1% while recovery rate is more than 20%, which is comparatively better than most of the countries and may be taken as a positive effect of the Lockdown in the country along with the cluster management & containment strategy. The average doubling rate of the country is 9.1 days, as of now.
The GoM was also informed that as of now, 5,062 people have been cured with a recovery rate of 20.66%. Since yesterday, an increase of 1429 new cases has been reported. Also, a total of 24,506 people have been confirmed positive for COVID-19.