New Delhi: Sh. Sanjeeva Kumar, Special Secretary (HFW) chaired a video conference (VC) with Health Secretaries of states with 21 identified airports along with theAirport Health Organization Officers (APHOs), Health Secretaries of the states bordering Nepal (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim) and other states/UTs. He reviewed their preparedness for prevention and management of coronavirus. Dr. Rajiv Garg, DGHS and senior officials from Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and NCDC were also present during the Video Conference.
Spl. Secretary (H) informed that various advisories, and guidelines have already been issued by the Health Ministry to all the States/UTs and regular monitoring on the status of preparedness is being taken place at the highest level. He reviewed the preparedness status of all the States/UTs regarding the following:
Airports- States/UTs reported that the thermal and symptomatic screening has been initiated at all identified Airports. Thermal screening sensors are operational and few more such equipment is being procured. The immigration and other staff members at the Airports have been sensitized and dedicated ambulances are placed at the Airports. Deployment of medical & para-medical staff is also being done for round-the-clock service. Self-declaration forms are available and signages are being placed at prominent places at all Airports. Seven central teams have visited the respective states and helped to strengthen the preparedness too.
Hospitals- States/UTs reported that isolation wards have been made identified and readied to face any contingency. Personal Protection Equipment and masks are available in adequate quantity in all the States/UTs.States need to regularly assess requirement of personal protection equipment, masks etc., and undertake necessary procurement to ensure sufficient supply. Tertiary hospitals are also identified for these airports and the protocols for contact tracing are followed and timely collection and transportation of samples from suspected cases to NIV, Pune is being done.
States bordering Nepal reported that adequate steps have been taken at the land check posts, and people contacts &meetings have been organised at villages in the bordering areas. Awareness is being enhanced through signages in local language, miking and other media channels. Grampanchayats are being organised to make people more aware regarding the symptoms, precautions and measures taken by the state governments regarding prevention and management for Novel Coronavirus.
Sh. Sanjeeva Kumar, Spl. Secretary (HFW) added that States need to take pro-active preventive measures by creating awareness among the people through local media. Adequate in-flight announcements need to be undertaken to make passengers aware about the symptoms and equipping them to “Help you to help us”. Call Centre/helpline number need to get popularized through TV, Radio, press releases, social media and other channels.
Spl. Secretary (H) assured States of all support from the Health Ministry, including orientation of medical personnel/staff and other agencies through regular video conferencing.