PUDUCHERRY: Puducherry Health Minister Malladi Krishna Rao on Monday said the health department has urged the Chief Minister V Narayanasamy to reconsider the lockdown relaxation which came into effect on Monday.
Over 15,000 industrial workers will resume work which is a large figure in the tiny Union territory, said Rao. As per the MHA guidelines, all the workers engaged by industries should be proved with accommodation close to their places of work and they are not allowed to come in their own vehicles like two wheelers.
The police are already overworked in enforcing the lockdown and it will be a challenge for them to prevent any violations. Hence the relaxation for industries should be deferred, he said.
Though the number of active COVID-19 cases in Puducherry has come down to three and there are no new cases, all the four regions of the Union territory have red zones on their borders and several areas are in containment zones due to cases in bordering states. So, Puducherry needs to remain vigilant against COVID-19, he said.
With regard to government employees, he said that instead of going by the criteria of deputing 33 percent employees, only those required for the movement of files should attend work, even if the number is lower than 33 percent. He also said that the matter has been discussed with the chief secretary.
The National Health Mission (NHM) has sanctioned Rs 3.6 crore for the purchase of necessary equipment to tackle COVID-19. However, this is not enough as the health department requires funds for procuring essentials including ambulances, for which a proposal for Rs 130 crore has been sent to the Centre for sanction, he said. Already, Rs 2.4 crore from the State Disaster Relief Fund and Rs 5.4 crore from the health department has been spent.
Moreover, funds are required for procurement of medicines for non-COVID patients, for which orders have been placed, he said.
A committee comprising nine people has been constituted to supervise the functioning of all government hospitals, community and primary health centres, private hospitals and clinics, said Director Health Dr Mohan Kumar. All health workers have been provided with PPE in the hospitals.
Now, everyone with Severe Acute respiratory infection (SARI) and Influenza like Illness (ILI) would be tested through RT-PCR tests. In addition, 10,000 rapid test kits are being procured.
Secretary Health Prashant Kumar Panda advised people to download the Aarogya setu app to know if they are close to anyone infected with COVID-19.