NEW DELHI: The Centre on Friday said the COVID-19 situation is especially serious in major or emerging hotspot areas including Ahmedabad, Surat, Hyderabad and Chennai.
In a statement, the Home Ministry said that violations of lockdown measures reported in some parts of the country pose a serious health hazard to public and may lead to the spread of COVID-19.
"The situation is especially serious in major hotspot districts or emerging hotspots like Ahmedabad and Surat (Gujarat), Thane (Maharashtra), Hyderabad (Telangana), and Chennai (Tamil Nadu)," the statement said.
The central government has already constituted 10 Interministerial Central Teams (IMCTs) for the spot assessment of the COVID-19 hotspot districts in the country.
Five of these teams are on inspection in Ahmedabad, Surat (both Gujarat), Thane (Maharashtra), Hyderabad (Telangana) and Chennai (Tamil Nadu).
The teams constituted earlier are in Mumbai, Pune (Maharashtra), Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Jaipur (Rajasthan) and West Bengal (one team for Kolkata and adjoining districts and the other for North Bengal).
The Home Ministry said that in some of the districts in the country, a number of violations of the lockdown measures have been reported, posing a serious health hazard and risk for spread of COVID-19, which is against general interest of public.
"These violations include incidents ranging from violence on frontline healthcare professionals, attacks on police personnel, violations of social distancing norms in market places and opposition to setting up of quarantine centres and so on," it said.
The ministry said if such incidents are allowed to occur without any restraining measures in hotspot districts and emerging hotspots or even places where large outbreaks or clusters may be expected, it would pose a serious health hazard for the people of the country.
The IMCTs would use expertise of the central government and augment the states' efforts to fight and contain spread of COVID-19 effectively.
These teams would make an on-spot assessment of the situation and issue necessary directions to state authorities for its redressal and submit their report to central government in larger interest of general public, the ministry said.
The IMCTs would be focusing on a range of issues including compliance and implementation of lockdown measures as per guidelines issued under the Disaster Management Act 2005, supply of essential commodities, social distancing in movement of people outside their homes, preparedness of health infrastructure, hospital facilities and sample statistics in the district.
Safety of health professionals, availability of test kits, PPEs, masks and other safety equipment; and conditions of the relief camps for labour and poor people will also be looked after by the IMCTs, the statement said.