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States told to seal borders, ensure there is no people movement on highways

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 29, 2020

The Centre on Sunday asked State governments and Union Territory administrations to seal State and district borders to stop the movement of migrant worker, who will be put in 14-days quarantine at destinations for violating the lockdown.

Only movement of goods should be allowed.

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba and Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla asked chief secretaries and DGPs, via a video conference, to ensure that there is no movement of people across cities or on highways “There has been movement of migrant workers in some parts of the country. Directions were issued that district and state borders should be effectively sealed,” an official statement said.

Landlords must not ask migrant workers for one month’s rent in case they have not moved out nor ask them to not vacate the premises,” said Punya Salila Srivastava, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs.

Cases cross 1,000 mark

The order came even as Covid-19 positive cases croseed the 1,000 mark. Of the 1,024 cases, 95 have recovered while 27 have died. “Six deaths have occurred in the past 24 hours itself,” said Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

R Gangakhedkar, Head, Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases, Indian Council of Medical Research, said that 35,000 Covid-19 tests have been conducted till date and the government is utilising 30 per cent of its existing capacity for testing.

Even as the order to curb movement came, the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists asked Chief Secretaries of States and UTs to issue advisories for smooth transportation of medicines from CFA/Depot/Distributor to wholesaleers and then to retailers. It urged them to mandate transporters to resume operations to move essential goods, especially medicines.

New India to offer cover

The government, Lav Agarwal said, has roped in public sector New India Assurance to provide an accident cover of ₹50 lakh to any frontline health worker who suffers an accidental loss of life while being in direct contact with, or caring for, a Covid-19 patient.

“This covers Central and State government health employees... and has also been extended to those serving in private hospitals as also retired personnel volunteering in the health sector during this outbreak,” he said..

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has stated that all National Skill training Institutes and hostels are available for conversion into quarantine or isolation facilities. The Ministry has said that it has trained 92,040 health workers, 989 emergency medical technicians, 373 radiology technicians and 1,644 home health aid workers who can assist in emergency and isolation work. It has also shared a list of 2,000 health care trainers and more than 500 health care assessors with MoHFW for preparedness in case numbers of COVID19 cases swell.

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Published on March 29, 2020

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