As Covid cases rise, top brass in India’s Covid war room head to States

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 19, 2020

Health officials test for Covid (file photo)   -  KR Deepak

Health Ministry reserves MMBS seats for children of Covid warriors

The topmost officials in India’s Covid-19 war room are heading teams travelling to some of the States which are witnessing a spike in Covid cases of late, an official statement said here on Thursday.

Even though the number recoveries are more than that of fresh cases, new infections are increasing rapidly in certain States, requiring better attention. In the last 24 hours, India reported 45,576 new cases, 48,493 recoveries and 585 deaths. The country is about to touch 90 lakh of confirmed cases even though 83.84 lakh have recovered already.

While Vinod K Paul, Member NITI Aayog (Health), is leading a three-member expert team to Rajasthan, which has of late been reporting higher cases than recoveries, Randeep Guleria, Director of the New Delhi-based All India Institute of Medical Sciences, will lead a team headed for Haryana.

Similarly, the team that will visit Gujarat, which has close to 20,000 active cases, will be headed by Surjit Singh, Director of the National Centre for Disease Control, New Delhi. The team going to Manipur will be led by L Swasticharan, additional DG at the Directorate General of Health Services, the statement said.

Helping hand

The teams will visit the districts that are reporting high number of Covid cases and support the States’ efforts towards strengthening containment, surveillance, testing, infection prevention and control measures, and efficient clinical management of the positive cases.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday announced the government’s plan to reserve five MBBS seats in the Central pool in the current academic year for the wards of Covid warriors who lost their lives while fighting the pandemic in the country. Wards of any corona warrior who are eligible for the ₹50-lakh insurance — ranging from Asha workers to medical doctors — can apply for the same, he said.

The selection of candidates will be made by the Medical Counselling Committee through online applications on the basis of rank obtained in the NEET-2020 conducted by the National Testing Agency.

In the last 24 hours, the maximum number of Covid cases were reported from Delhi and Kerala, which accounted for over 7,500 and 6,400 new cases, respectively. These two States accounted for nearly one-third of fresh 45,576 Covid-19 cases during this period in the country.

Till date, more than 1.31 lakh people have died of Covid-19 in India.

Published on November 19, 2020

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