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Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Tuesday wrote to Chief Secretaries that all states should immediately identify and earmark hospitals dedicated for management of COVID-19 cases and ensure they are fully ready in the event of a further spike in the number of confirmed cases.
Gauba said, "It is absolutely essential that surveillance and contact tracing of all positive cases are taken up and no suspected or high-risk person is left out. It is important that while these tasks are being monitored at the state level by the state health secretaries. This activity is directly and regularly monitored at the district level by the District Magistrates involving the official machinery available in the district."
"I would also like to reiterate that as discussed during the video conference on March 22, 2020, all states should immediately identify and earmark hospitals dedicated for management of COVID-19 cases and ensure that they are in a state of full readiness to deal with the situation, in the event of a further spike in the number of confirmed cases," he added.
The Cabinet Secretary urged them to "personally review the action in respect of surveillance and contact tracing measures as well as identification and preparation of dedicated hospitals."
"The details in this regard may kindly be uploaded on the Health Online Portal of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare," he said.
In his earlier letter to the Chief Secretaries on March 22, Gauba had highlighted that there is a need to take further pre-emptive actions to contain the spread of COVID-19 given there has been a sharp increase in the number of confirmed cases.
"It was noted that many state governments have proactively taken various steps including the imposition of stringent restriction under Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 and regulations and framed under it to curb non-essential movement, prevent the gathering of people and promote social distancing," he had said in the letter referring to a meeting.
Gauba had said the focus should be on the closure of all activities except essential services such as hospitals, telecom, medicine shops and provisions stores.
"You may also request industries, establishments etc to allow their employees to work from home and provide remuneration to them during this period. In respect of the poor and vulnerable sections, including casual labour and daily wage workers. Proactive measures may be taken to mitigate any hardship that may be caused," he had said.
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