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No lowering of guard against COVID during unlocking process: P K Mishra
New Delhi, September 13, 2020
P K Mishra, the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, has cautioned the people against lowering their guard against the novel coronavirus (COVID) during the unlocking process and urged them to strictly follow all the preventive measures including maintenance of two-metre distance from others, the use of masks and washing of hands.
Chairing a high-level review meeting on COVID-19 preparedness and the response here on Saturday, Mishra stressed the need to unlock in the interests of work and earnings but still follow the non-pharmacological preventive measures.
“A concerted behaviour change campaign will again be taken up to re-emphasize that unlocking does not mean lowering our guard against infection,” he added.
The meeting focused on evidence-based learning on the management of cases across the Districts and States. It discussed the stage of vaccine development and distribution plan. The need for District Health Action Plans for long-term management of various aspects of COVID also figured in the deliberations.
The meeting was attended by the Cabinet Secretary, NITI Aayog Member Vinod Paul, Principal Scientific Adviser and all concerned Empowered Action Group Convenors and Secretaries of the concerned Departments.
It was noted with satisfaction that all Empowered Groups have worked very hard to achieve benchmarks in COVID management. Mishra directed all concerned for an evidence-based preparedness of all aspects of COVID-19 with the active participation of Districts and States for effective implementation.
A presentation on the COVID status in India, ongoing strategic interventions and future challenges was given by Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan. The presentation highlighted the status of States in terms of case trajectory, testing conducted, fatality & sample positivity duly also mentioning the districts of concern.
Bhushan also talked about the eVIN Platform focusing on the vaccine supply chain, beneficiary enrolment system and the delivery system once the vaccine is available.
Paul made a detailed presentation on projections of cases based on various models. He explained the ongoing efforts by the National Expert Group on vaccine administration for COVID-19. He also gave a briefing on the overall landscape on vaccine research (both global and in India).
Based on the many projection scenarios, he directed all concerned to build on the knowledge and analysis that has been developed over the last few months to work out the Detailed Action Plan for the coming months.
The need for continuously upgrading and augmenting human resources, getting the right mix of testing for effective case management, contact tracing and isolation, uninterrupted oxygen supply and other medical equipment were all discussed at length.
Integration of AYUSH for prophylaxis and mitigation of syndrome also came up at the meeting. The need for Psycho-Social Care Facilities, Effective Behaviour Change communication system, strong district public health teams for surveillance, data team, effective supply chain, livelihoods and social protection was also discussed.