The number of active Covid-19 cases in India has surged up to 1,117 and the deadly virus has claimed 32 lives so far (according to the latest report released by the governement). With over 220 people being detected coronavirus positive in the last 24 hours, India has witnessed the sharpest spike in the number of cases so far, despite being under lockdown. The country is inching closer to stage three (community transmission) and therefore, various measures are being taken up by the government to contain the spread of Covid-19 as much as possible.
From preparing temporary quarantine wards to improving healthcare facilities, here's a brief overview of the efforts the government is making to contain the spread of Covid-19 in India:
The Delhi government has requested the Sports Authority of India to convert Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the national capital into a quarantine centre. The move comes after hundreds have been feared infected post attending congregation at the Markaz Tablighi Jamath (a group of preachers) at Hazrat Nizamuddin from March 13-15. In this particular Tablighi Jamath, more than 2,000 delegates were present, including the ones from Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Kyrgyzstan. Many of those who attended also hid their travel history to foreign countries.
The Delhi govt has called this a criminal act as it had banned all social gatherings in the national capital on March 13 itself. The Nizamuddin area has been sealed and hundreds of those with symptoms of Covid-19 have been admitted to hospitals. The event has also been linked to multiple coronavirus deaths. From among those who attended, one person is suspected to have died in Delhi, one in J&K, two in Tamil Nadu and six in Telangana have also died after participating in the gathering. The total number of confirmed cases in Delhi has spiked to 87, with 25 additions yesterday.
India has already started repurposing railway berths as makeshift isolation wards. The Indian Railways, in a statement, has confirmed that it has already converted one train carriage into a prototype quarantine facility. If this particular prototype is approved, then India’s 16 railway zones will convert 10 coaches each into isolation wards on a weekly basis in order to provide healthcare facilities.
Indian Railways getting ready to provide medical support to National efforts in fighting #COVID19— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) March 30, 2020
More than 6500 hospital beds of Railways to be made available as per prescribed medical specifications.
The Karnataka government has come up with a strict and unique measure to ensure that those who are quarantined at their homes do not step out. The state government has directed people to send selfies every hour to govt on Quarantine Watch, a mobile application developed by them to keep a track of everyone who is isolated. The home-quarantined have also been warned that they will be sent to mass quarantine centres upon not abiding by the lockdown rules.
Government Asks Telcos To Extend Prepaid Validity: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has requested all telecom operators (private as well as public) to extend the prepaid data and pack validity for the 21 days in lockdown in order to ensure uninterrupted services to the users, without them being hassled for recharge.
Validity of vehicle permits extended till June end: This decision has been taken since citizens are not able to renew the validity of various documents related to Motor Vehicles Act and Central Motor Vehicles Rules.
Government to consider suggestions for cash transfer to migrant workers: This could be done in order to compensate all the unemployed for the loss of livelihood during the 21-day lockdown. Also, the government has announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore stimulus package which provides free foodgrains and cooking gas to poor for a period of three months.
Number of food distribution centers increased in Delhi: The government has increased food centres from 500 to 2,500 to ensure social distancing.
Meanwhile, Takeshi Kasai, Regional Director for the Western Pacific at the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the coronavirus epidemic is 'far from over' in the Asia-Pacific region. "Even with all the measures, the risk of transmission in the region will not go away as long as the pandemic continues", he said. Besides, another study conducted by the COV-IND-19 Study Group has revealed that India may witness 13 lakh cases by mid-May if the virus continues to spread despite social distancing.
We are in the middle of a global health crisis but the onus to act responsibly lies not just on the government but also on us, as citizens. Please #StayHomeStaySafe. Do your bit and also help the ones in need. We are all in this together.
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