Dr Harsh Vardhan chairs 18th meeting of Group of Ministers on COVID-19

New Delhi, July 9, 2020: The 18th meeting of the high-level Group of Ministers (GoM) on COVID-19 was held under the chairpersonship of Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare by a video-conference, here today.

He was joined by Dr.S. Jais-hankar, Union Foreign Minister, Hardeep S. Puri, Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State, Health & Family Welfare and Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State, Chemical and Fertilizers, & Ship-ping.

Dr. Vinod Paul, Member (Health), Niti Aayog joined the meeting through video conference link.

At the outset, the GoM was briefed on the current status of COVID-19 in India.

The global comparison between the five most affected countries clearly depicted that India has one of the lowest cases per million (538) and deaths per million (15) com-pared the global average of 1453 and 68.7, respectively.

Within the country, eight states (Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat) contribute to around 90% of the active caseload and 49 districts account for 80% of active caseload, as of today.

Moreover, six states (Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal) account for 86% of total deaths, and 32 dis-tricts account for 80% deaths.

The GoM was briefed that special efforts were made in the regions showing higher Case Fatality Rate.

Speaking on the COVID-19 healthcare infrastructure in the country, the GoM was briefed that as on today, there are total 3914 facilities in the country with 3,77,737 Isolation beds (without ICU support), 39,820 ICU beds and 1,42,415 oxygen supported beds along with 20,047 ventilators.

In terms of healthcare logistics, cumulatively 213.55 lakh N95 masks, 120.94 lakh PPEs and 612.57 lakh HCQ tablets have been distributed.

During the period of Unlock 2.0, the future steps include sharp focus on containment and surveillance including demarcation of Contain-ment Zones according to the guide-lines of Ministry of Health & Fami-ly Welfare; Containment Zones to be notified on the websites; strict perimeter control and with only essential activities to be allowed; intensive contact tracing, house-to-house search/surveillance; and Buffer Zones to be identified out-side the Containment Zones to con-tain potential new cases.

It was mentioned that the Centre and State/UT cooperation measures taken at regular intervals include regular visit by Central Teams of public health experts to the most affected states.

Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that, “as we move forward, our focus shall be on the management of COVID-19 through strict containment measures and surveillance; utilizing full test-ing capacity; focus on monitoring of co-morbid and elderly population; predicting emerging hotspots lever-aging digital tools such as Aarogya Setu; ensuring seamless patient admission processes; focus on infra-structure preparedness (critical care beds, oxygen, ventilators and logis-tics).”
Chandigarh Update (as at 6 pm)

A 42 year old woman of Maloya was treated, cured and discharged from Shri Dhanwantry Ayurvedic College & Hospital. She has been shifted to Post Discharge Quaran-tine facility at Sood Dharmshala.

During the last 24 hours, 16 per-ons have been declared Positive in the UT. They are residenst of Sec-tors 19, 27, 38,40, 45, 51, 55 and of Manimajra.

These comprised of 7 men and 9 women, including a girl child of 8 months.The seniormost person is 80 years old and he is from Sector

51.He is a family member of a pre-viously positive case of Sector 51 in the same house With this, the total number of Active Cases in Chandigarth now are 113. The results of 53 samples is currently awaited.

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