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84 cases confirmed; 4,000 contacts under surveillance

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New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has confirmed 84 cases of COVID-19 in the country as on 7 p.m. on Saturday. The contact tracing of these cases has led to identification of more than 4,000 people, who have been put under surveillance. Of the 84 cases, 10 have recovered and they have been discharged.

According to a statement issued by the Health Ministry, 12,29,363 passengers have been screened from 11,406 flights at 30 designated airports. The Centre is also enforcing quarantine for all incoming passengers as per the guidelines. A total of 52 labs are equipped to test COVID-19.

Elaborating on the process of funding to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry said, “Under the Disaster Management Act, states/UTs can now draw funds from the State Disaster Response Fund in addition to the funds from the state government and the NHM. Ministry of Home Affairs has issued detailed guidelines to states/UTs in this regard”.

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba through a video conference reviewed preparedness and actions taken with Chief Secretaries of various states. Gauba emphasized preventive and control measures with adequate number of isolation wards, the need to enhance quarantine facilities and ensuring that arrivals from the identified countries are quarantined as per the standard guidelines.

“The identification of additional quarantine facilities, development of isolation wards, training of health workers and doctors, ensuring adequate equipment, medicines and masks are being strengthened further in all states and UTs”, said the statement.

The Centre has also declared masks and hand sanitizers as essential commodities under Essential Commodities Act up to June 30, 2020. Under the Essential Commodities Act, states can ask manufacturers to enhance their production capacity of these items, to make the supply chain smooth.

According to the ministry’s statement, a few states have also utilised the enabling provision for infectious disease management as provided under Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. “Under the Act, the states may take, or require or empower any person to take some measures and by public notice prescribe such temporary regulations to be observed by the public”, added the statement.



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