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India's Group of Ministers make crucial decisions to tackle COVID19

International   |   Glibs Quick   |   Mar 19, 2020, 18:00 PM

India's Group of Ministers (GoM) reviewed status of cases in India, steps taken by the Government of India so far and have taken the following decisions. At the meeting of Group of Ministers (GoM) today it has been decided that

(a) No scheduled international commercial passenger aircraft shall take off from any foreign airport for any airport in India, after 0001 hrs GMT of March 22, 2020 (*i.e. 0531 hrs Indian Standard Time (IST) of March 22, 2020) These instructions shall remain in force till 0001 hrs GMT of March 29, 2020. 

(b) A maximum travel time of 20 hours is permissible for such commercial passenger aircraft to land in India.

(c) As such, no incoming scheduled international commercial passenger aircraft shall be allowed to disembark its passengers *on Indian soil* (Foreigner or Indian) after 2001 hrs GMT of March 22, 2020 (*i.e. 0131 hrs IST of March 23, 2020).

(d) It is to highlight that these are temporary measures to restrict the spread of COVID19, and will be reviewed by the Government.

Social distancing primarily implies avoiding/decreasing contact so as to stop or slow down the rate and extent of disease transmission. This has been found to be a useful approach to decrease the morbidity and mortality due to the disease.

Government has regularly been requesting Indian nationals on hand and respiratory hygiene, environmental sanitation measures like routine cleaning of frequently used surfaces, minimizing the sharing of objects; and ensuring appropriate ventilation besides social distancing.

In continuation of already issued advisories, Department of Personnel and Training has issued orders to reduce the contact and congestion in government offices.

(a) These include allowing Group C & D employees to attend offices on alternate weeks and staggered timings for Group A & B employees.

(b) States shall issue instructions for regulating hours in all services except for essential services. Industrial establishments to consider staggered timings and regulation of crowd in market should also be resorted to.

States shall issue directions to private sector to consider work from home wherever feasible.

All educational institutions, Theatres, Museums, Gyms, Exam centers, etc. shall be closed temporarily.

States shall take necessary actions to ensure that all sporting events, competitions and religious gatherings shall be postponed and it shall be ensured that required social distanced is maintained even in smaller gatherings.

With respect to public transport, it is directed that metros, railways, buses and airplanes shall consider decrease in frequency of their services, alternate seating to ensure social distancing…

Effective disinfection and crowd management be ensured in places like railway stations, metro stations, bus stands, and airports.

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Railway Ministry have already issued orders in deference to GoM directions wherein travel concessions for senior citizens & all others availing concessional booking except for patients, students & Divyangjan category since 0000 hours of 20 March 2020 have been temporarily suspended.

In order to protect the most vulnerable of our population, all states shall issue appropriate instructions wherein all citizens above 65 years except for public representatives/government servants/medical professionals should be advised to remain at home

and avoid gatherings except for medical reasons and need for essential services. Similarly, all children below 10 years of age should be advised to remain at home and avoid going to public parks, picnics and other games requiring large number of participants.

In consultation with medical professionals, detailed advisory shall be issued for all health establishments to avoid non-urgent hospitalization and minimize elective surgeries This is being done to avoid hospital related infections to the vulnerable and prepare hospitals for meeting challenges posed by COVID19.

Youth and citizens are urged to become volunteers to support the government’s ongoing efforts in management of COVID19.

Department of Pharmaceuticals and Department of Consumer Affairs to take necessary action against anyone charging exorbitant price for masks, sanitizers, and other health related logistic material and to facilitate their availability in all hospitals and to people at large.

GoM also directed that people should be sensitized on appropriate use of masks, to be utilized only when needed and to wash hands with soap.It was emphasized that community should be aware of all the steps taken by government and to solicit their support in government efforts for managing COVID19 disease.

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