NEW DELHI: The production of personal protective equipment (PPE) is being ramped up, a review meeting held by the Prime Minister's Office on the efforts to tackle the spread of coronavirus was informed on Friday.
Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister PK Mishra chaired the meeting of the empowered groups of officers set up to tackle the challenges arising out of COVID-19. The meeting reviewed and expressed satisfaction on the detailed testing protocol and procedure, under which 1,45,916 samples have so far been tested across the country.
According to an official statement, the production of PPE is being ramped up and capacity building for healthcare personnel is being ensured. There has been a shortage of PPE for doctors and health workers and efforts were put in to pump up supplies.
NGOs and civil society groups are also being mobilised, the meeting was informed. Mishra suggested that coordination with the NGOs at the district level be done to avoid overlaps and ensure an efficacious utilisation of resources.
The progress of the welfare measures rolled out through the economic relief package under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana was also reviewed, the statement said. Mishra underlined that data sanctity is important to ensure that the benefits reach all the beneficiaries.
During the meeting, issues related to the supply chain and logistics management for availability of necessary items were discussed. The efforts undertaken for the benefit of the stakeholders involved and steps to assist farmers to harvest their produce while maintaining social distancing were also discussed, the statement said.
Further, the necessary confidence-building measures and need to ensure percolation of the Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines to the ground level also came up for deliberations. The steps taken to ensure a timely information dissemination throughout the country were discussed at the meet and ensuring last-mile outreach through communication in regional languages was emphasised.
On the technology and data management front, while expressing satisfaction on the launch of the Aarogya Setu mobile application, it was felt that user engagement with the app needs to be enhanced. The prime minister himself has been urging the citizens to download the app, which deals with protection from coronavirus.
On March 29, the government had constituted 11 empowered groups to suggest measures to ramp up the healthcare infrastructure, put the country's economy back on track and reduce the miseries of the people as quickly as possible in the wake of the 21-day nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the coronavirus pandemic.