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COVID-19: More Surveillance In States, Districts Required: Cabinet Secretary

Now the District Magistrates are being pressed into service to boost District-level Surveillance

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As the count crosses 490 in India, Cabinet Secretariat has requested Chief Secretaries of all State Government to boost surveillance and rapid response teams in their respective States and districts. The same has been conveyed via a letter dated March 24, 2020 and signed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba.

After the announcement of lockdown in 32 states and Union territories, hundreds of violators have been booked with the offence of breaking the lockdown directives. As of 2 pm, Tuesday, March 24, over  500 First Information Reports and over 4,000 challan were reportedly issued across various states and towns. The numbers are going up by the hour.  

Now the Central Government is exploring the option of imposing curfew in some of the cities and towns in order to reduce possible contact of people so as to arrest the mass spread of Coronavirus. 

“Though these activities are being monitored at the State-level by the state Health Secretaries but should also be monitored at the District level by the Magistrates with the help of official machinery available, “the letter said.

The Cabinet Secretary has also suggested identifying and earmarking dedicated hospitals for management of COVID-19 in all States as he will be reviewing these actions personally to put a halt to the increasing number of the confirmed patients of Coronavirus. 

According to ICMR, 20,864 samples of 19,974 individuals have been tested for the disease as on 10 AM, 24 March. In some individuals, more than one sample have been collected.  

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COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak