NEW DELHI: Cabinet Secretary and the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister reviewed the status, actions taken and preparedness regarding management and containment of COVID-19 in a high level with Chief Secretaries of States through a video conference, here on Sunday. The increase in the number of confirmed cases during the last few days was discussed. The Central Government impressed upon the States the need for urgent and effective interventions.
After detailed discussions, the following decisions were taken:
* State Governments will issue orders allowing only essential services to operate in districts with confirmed COVID-19 cases. The focus should be on closure of all activities except essential services such as hospitals, telecom, medicine shops, provision stores etc.
* Establishments/factories engaged in manufacturing and distribution of essential commodities like medicines, vaccines, sanitizers, masks, medical devices, their ancillaries and support services etc., should be exempt from these restrictions.
* State Governments may expand the list depending on their assessment of the situation.
* All train services suspended till March 31 including suburban rail services.
* Good trains may continue to operate for facilitating availability of essential commodities.
* All metro rail services suspended till March 31, 2020.
* Interstate passenger transport also to be suspended till March 31, 2020.
* Transport services may operate at mere skeletal level
* These measures are temporary but extremely vital to break the chain of transmission.
* States were also requested to ensure that while such measures are being taken, necessary steps to minimize discomfort to the poor and disadvantaged sections of the society may be ensured.
* States to request industries, establishments etc., to allow their employees to work from home and provide remuneration to them during this period.
* The Central government has already asked Labour Ministry and Ministry of Corporate Affairs to issue necessary instructions to this effect.
* States were further asked to ramp up the readiness to manage the positive cases in health facilities.
* States to assess the availability of medical services including quarantine and scale them up to meet all possible contingencies.
* States were asked to have earmarked facilities fully dedicated to manage the COVID-19 cases only.
* Each State was requested to identify and ensure that such hospitals are equipped to manage the COVID-19 cases. (PIB)