DEVASTATING CORONA VIRUS SPREADING WHOLE WORLD
The entire world witness the devastating spread of corona viruses killing many and affecting lakhs of people. In the past we have seen the pandemic of SARS and MERS, but now this novel Covid-19 is seen as most deadly. It is rapidly exploiting the situation in which they come into contact and mutate rapidly. Researchers are of the view that the Corona viruses are exceptionally adaptive and able to replicate in many species like bats, pigs, cattle, mice. Scientists suspect the Covid-19 might have infected from bats like Ebola and Nipah.
Covid-19 infects hosts through mucus droplets and its weight prohibits them travel long. So the slogan of keeping social distancing is the best way to prevent the deadly viruses.
JANATHA CURFEW & LOCKDOWN
The lockdown of all institutions and keeping people stay at home initiated by the Prime Minister of India will be a great weapon to contain the spread of the novel corona virus in the country. The State sponsored 21 day lockdown has paralysed all commerce and has put the people out of work in our country.
In order to mitigate the problems and hardships of the people, the Finance Minister has announced economic package for various sectors including civil aviation and tourism to deal with the fall out of the corona virus pandemic affected our economy.
All State Governments including Kerala declared many initiatives in helping the poor and the migrant workers who will be mostly affecte.
COVID -19 ECONOMIC PACKAGE
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has released an Economic Package of Rs. 1.7 trillion under Pradhan Manthri Garib Kalyan Scheme to provide relief to the poor and migrant workers who will drastically be affected by the lockdown to contain Covid-19.
- The Scheme shall have two parts – Cash transfers and Food Security.
- 2 million health workers will be provided Insurance cover of Rs.50 Lakhs each
- 800 million poor people will be given 5 Kg Rice/Wheat per month free of cost in addition to the 5 Kg already allotted. Each household will get 1 Kg dal free for the next three months also.
- PM KISAN payment of Rs. 2000 to the farmers immediately.
- MGNREGS wage increased from Rs. 182 to Rs.202 to benefit 50 million families
- Ex – gratia of Rs. 1000 for the next three months to poor widows and aged.
- Women with Jan Dhan Yojana Account will be credited Rs.500 for the next three months.
- 80 million households will be benefitted Gas Cylinders free for three months under Ujjwala Scheme.
- 6.3 million SHG will benefit up to Rs. 10 Lakh collateral free loans un der Deen Dayal Upadyaya National Rural Mission.
- The government will pay the EPF contributions of both employees and employers for the next three months of Establisments which have less than 100 employees, 90 per cent of whom earn less than 15000 per month
- EPFO Scheme will be amended to allow withdrawal of up to 75 per cent of the corpus as non-refundable advance or three months salary which ever is less.
- State Government will be directed to utilise the Rs. 31000 Crore from the Building and Construction Workers Welfare Fund
SPECIAL PACKAGE OF KERALA GOVERNMENT
The Kerala Government declared a Rs.20,000 crore Package for fighting the Covid-19 crisis in the State. Rs.14000 crore was declared for clearing all pending arrears in various sectors and Rs. 500 crore for the health programmes. More isolation facilities and healthcare infrastructure are to be improved .
- Social Welfare Pensions will be distributed in March itself and food grains will be supplied free of coast to all families in the State.
- One month period extension for the payment of Water and Electricity Bills.
- Rs.2000 crore will be made available through Kudumbashree for reviving the economy of the State.
- Rs. 1000 crore will be earmarked for rural employment guarantee schemes during April and May.
Government of Kerala started Community Kitchens in the State to provide food to the poor, workers, destitutes, elderly persons, persons living in the streets who were affected by the lockdown to contain Covid-19.
Though the word ‘Community’ is there in the novel concept adopted by the Chief Minister of Kerala, all the Covid-19 protocols such as ‘social distancing’ are to be followed while preparing the food in the Community Kitchens.
All should wear masks, gloves and should hold health cards issued by the authorities.
A monitoring Committee constituted should be responsible for the quality and hygenine while preparing and supplying the food as per the guidelines issued through the Order No.713/2020 dt 26.03.2020 by Special Secretary.
MONITORING COMMITTEE SOULD BE CONSTITUTED AT WARD LEVEL ALSO
Kudumbashree Poverty Eradication Mission of the State is entrusted to set up the Community Kitchens. Many Hotels and Catering Service groups are supporting this novel concept to provide food to the needy in the wake of shutting all establishments in the State. Whatsapp/SMS platforms were created for placing orders for the meals. Volunteers / Community workers should contact the quarantined families to know whether they need any assistance , food or shelter. There would be at least one community kitchen in each Panchayath.
COVID-19 HELPLINE DISHA No 1056 0471-2552056
COVID-19 CALL CENTRE No 0471-2309250 / 51 / 51 / 52 / 53 / 54 / 55
As new cases and deaths due to Covid-19 are on the rise, the Central Health Ministry has announced a strategy for intensifying the efforts to strengthen community surveillance and setting up dedicated Covind-19 Hospitals in every State ensuring adequate beds, ventilators and ICU facilities.
All India Institute of Medical Science, New Delhi decided to provide online clinical assistance and training to doctors and nurses in the country.
PRIME MINISTER’S CITIZEN ASSISTANCE AND RELIEF IN EMERGENCY SITUATIONS FUND (PM-CARES FUND)
Public charitable trust under the name of Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund will be constituted to help fight against the novel Corona virus. Prime Minister will be the Chairman and the members include Defence Minister, Home Minister and Finance Minister. Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for donations to this newly constituted fund immediately to combat the deadly Covid-19. Donations can be given to Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund also.The Central Government has decided to accept foreign contributions to the PM-CARES fund to fight the unprecedented pandemic. The shortage of ventilators and other medical equipments are highly needed and the diplomatic teams are working all the time to deal the situations contacting Ambassadors and diplomats. National Disaster Management Authority has received donations and offers including thousands of digital thermal scanners and full body thermal scanners
A Laboratory under DRDO has decided to make 20,000 five layered mask a day and started modifications of ventilators to support four patients at a time. DRDO informed the Government that the sanitisers and five-layered nanotechnology mask N99 were supplied to various Organisations on war footing .
Big Industrial firms are working together to increase the production of medical equipments. Big companies like Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors Hyundai etc., have offered to collaborate in this direction.
PRIME MINISTER SEEKS IDEAS
Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought ideas from Chief Ministers of different statesto contain the Covid-19 after the exit from the 21 day lockdown starting on 25 March 2020 through a video conference. On 6 April 2020 PM interacted with all the Ministers to take necessary measures to interact with the district administers to co ordinate harvesting and procuring agricultural produces. He stressed the need to prepare business continuity plans including the Make in India Programmes and address the economic situation of our country.
The Union Cabinet approved a 30 % cut in salaries of all members of Parliament and suspended MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) Scheme for two years. An Ordinance will be approved to that effect immediately. More over The President, Vice President and all Governors had decided to contribute the 30 % of their salary to the Fund to be raised to combat Covid-19.
KERALA EXPERIENCE AND PROGRAMMES
The story of a small village in the district of Pathanamthitta is a model in the state. On March 6,2020, a couple from Aythala with fever approached Ranni Taluk Hospital. The doctor on duty could suspect Covid-19 and in an hour they were shifted to the isolation ward at the Pathanamthitta General Hosptital on the instruction of District Collector and Health Minister. Next day the Testing Results were confirmed positive and immediately shock waves alerted through out the sate and country. Ranni and other remote villages of Pathanamthitta moved to a self imposed lockdown. Shops closed the shutters and vehicles went off the roads. The three relatives who came back from Italy were identified as the source of the deadly decease immediately. All the persons who were in contact with the Italian residents were identified and immediately quarantined. It was an herculean task to prepare the route maps of the couples returned from Itally. The elderly parents of the Italian residents also tested positive. The Health Surveillance Team could identify 1250 primary and secondary contacts of the infected in the next 24 hours. In thist task, great help and concerted effort was taken to check the community spread of the decease .It is with great relief and pride to see that the elderly parents were discharged from the hospitals with repeated confirmation of the test reporting negative. Whole nation lauded the district administration and the Government for preventing community spread of the pandemic in Pathanamthitta.
It was not a lone incident in the state. This happened in all district including Kasargod and Kannur were many gulf returnees caused the spread of virus. The experience and care taken during the period of Nipah during last years strengthened the initiatives of the Health Teams and volunteers in combating Corona viuses.
A comprehensive Covid-19 preventive programmes were initiated in the state in the event of unlocking of the institutions.
Treatment centres are being set up in Panchayaths with Ambulance and Testing Centres to avoid community spreading.
Community Halls, Schools and other institutions are identified for setting up of primary level Centres.
A Field Response Home Care Team for two panchayaths to take decisions on the line of treatments and short stay Homes will be set up.
Tertiary Care Centres, Secondary Centres and Community level first centres are planned with hospitals having nearly 50,000 beds in each districts.
It is expected that nearly 10 % of the population could get infected and 2 to 3 per cent would need tertiary care treatment. Food and Medicines are to be provided online and through home delivery.
The Community Kitchens were fully operational in the state all these days.
The state reported nine Covid-19 case on 7 th April, 2020 , the active cases came down to 263 from 266. The number of people under surveillance was 1,46,686 including 752 isolated in hospitals. However the plight of nurses working in various states and outside the country are very disheartening and needs immediate intervention. Chief Minister of Kerala appealed to all organisations to help the nursing community immediately.
On Tuesday, April 7 th , the World Health Day, everyone is concerned about the devastating virus.
The Task Force constituted in the state led by former Chief Secretary has submitted the report suggesting various measures to be taken in the event of lifting the national lockdown. Meanwhile the Chief Minister said that the Mobile phone Shops, Work Shops and Spare Parts shops will be opened on specified days to mitigate the difficulties faced by the people during the lockdown period. Registered electricians will also be working on calls.
RUTHLESS CONTAINMENT OF COVID-19
BHILWARA EXPERIENCE IN RAJASTHAN
The strategy was simple: Timely action, complete screening and strict enforcement of lockdown.
By the end of March, 2020 Bhilwara reported 26 Covid-19 cases and the district became most concern for the Government of Rajasthan. One private hospital was largely responsible for the spread of the virus as nearly 17 medical professionals were affected. The hospital was sealed and all staff were put in isolation immediately.The state government deployed nearly 3000 health workers in the district and ensured 100 % screening of people during the lockdown period and restricted community spread/cluster spread of the decease. Immediate mapping of positive cases and the primary and secondary contacts identified. Nearly 2,15,000 households and 10 lakh people were screened in urban and rural areas of Bhilwara making it an all out effort to contain Covid-19.
The administration set up nearly 1500 hotel rooms in the district as quarantine centres. 1000 people were quarantined the week end and now it is seen that only one Covid-19 case was seen reported during the first week of April,2020. Out of 27 Covid-19 cases, 17 cases have been cured and 13 people discharged from the hospital. Ruthless Strategy and timely action saved many in this Rajasthan district. Whole country looks forward to learn such great experiences in containing the Covid-19.