Union secretary HFW chaired a video conference with health secretaries of States on COVID-19

New Delhi, Feb 29: Ms. Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW) chaired a video conference with Health Secretaries from States and UTs along with senior officials of National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and Airport Public Health Officers (APHOs) to review their preparedness for prevention and management of COVID-19, here today. Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan is reviewing the status, actions taken and preparedness of States and UTs everyday.

Secretary (HFW) stated that while various precautionary measures have been undertaken in close coordination with the concerned ministries at the central level and the States and UTs, with the evolving global scenario, especially in countries such as Iran, Italy and South Korea.

There is a need for States and UTs to maintain high vigil and be alert with respect to the protocols for community surveillance, and screening at the airports and check-posts. She underscored the importance of sturdy and effective community surveillance measures. In addition, she also advised States and UTs to ensure that necessary protocols for collection and testing of blood samples is followed.

States and UTs have been again advised to provide the requisite manpower to strengthen the APHOs at the airports, and at the check-posts. States and UTs were also urged to ensure that all necessary Personal Protective equipment (PPE), masks, etc., are in adequate supply, and adequate isolation wards are kept in readiness.

Secretary (HFW) also urged them to enhance awareness in the community on the preventive measures and also popularise the state control room numbers. Specific review of J&K and Ladakh was taken w.r.t returnees from Iran. Their surveillance and community risk communication was stressed upon.

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