Health Minister directs teams to visit quarantine facilities to assess and monitor amenities

The meeting was attended by senior health ministry officials, the directors or medical superintendents of central government hospitals.

Published: 18th March 2020 05:02 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th March 2020 08:09 PM   |  A+A-

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. (Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)


NEW DELHI: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday held a review meeting on containment and management of the novel coronavirus, directing that teams be deputed to regularly inspect and monitor quarantine facilities for ensuring necessary amenities are being provided.

The review comes amid the number of coronavirus cases rising to 151 in India on Wednesday after 14 more were reported from various parts of the country.

The figure includes three deaths reported from Maharashtra, Karnataka and Delhi.

The meeting was attended by senior health ministry officials, the directors or medical superintendents of central government hospitals such as the Safdurjung Hospital, the RML Hospital and the AIIMS-Delhi.

Vardhan reviewed the preparedness of hospitals in terms of availability of testing kits, personal protective equipment (PPE), medicines and isolation wards.

He directed hospitals to ensure adequate availability of protective gear for all healthcare workers.

The minister was informed that adequate quantity of PPE, masks, sanitizers, handheld thermometers, among other equipment, are being procured and provided as per demand along with maintaining stock to address any future demand, the health ministry said in a statement.

Vardhan reviewed in detail the quarantine facilities for evacuees, including those at airports and other key transit points, in terms of segregation of passengers, transportation to quarantine facilities and health check-ups.

"The health minister has directed for teams to be deputed to regularly inspect and monitor the quarantine facilities to ensure that the necessary amenities and facilities are being provided. The minister stated that he shall be reviewing the same everyday with the aim of improving them," the statement said.

The minister also appreciated the various actions being undertaken in close coordination with various ministries at the central level, states as well as Indian embassies abroad.

Vardhan also lauded the states for active surveillance, effective contact tracing and their preparedness for containment and management of COVID-19.

Highlighting the critical importance of effective communication as a tool of crisis management, he advised for multi-media communication campaigns that would focus on different aspects such as preventive measures, busting myths, equipping the masses with information on guidelines, advisories, testing labs, etc.

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