New Delhi-Government of India issued an Order on 14th April 2020 that the lockdown measures stipulated in the Consolidated Guidelines of Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for containment of COVID-19 epidemic in the country, will continue to remain in force upto 3rd May 2020.
In pursuance of the above-said order of Government of India, MHA has issued consolidated revised guidelines regarding lockdown measures to be taken by Ministries/Departments of Government of India, State/UT Governments for containment of COVID-19 epidemic in the country. The guidelines also prescribe National Directives for COVID-19 management; SOPs for Social Distancing at offices, workplaces, factories and establishments; and, penalties for offences regarding violation of lockdown measures under relevant sections of Disaster Management Act 2005 and IPC, 1860.
MHA has directed all the Ministries/Departments of Government of India and State Governments /Union Territory Administrations for the strict implementation of enclosed consolidated revised guidelines.
Note: Below Given Document has not been edited by Himachal Watcher. It was published as it was received from by the Union Government.
List of Services to Remain Prohibited During Lockdown
With the extension of the lockdown period, the following activities will continue to remain prohibited across the country until 3rd May 2020:
- All domestic and international air travel of passengers, except for purposes enumerated in para 4 (ix), and for security purposes.
- All passenger movement by trains, except for security purposes.
- Buses for public transport.
- Metro rail services.
- Inter-district and inter-State movement of individuals except for medical reasons or for activities permitted under these guidelines.
- All educational, training, coaching institutions etc. shall remain closed.
- All industrial and commercial activities other than those specifically permitted
under these guidelines.
- Hospitality services other than those specifically permitted under these guidlines
- Taxis (including auto-rickshaws and cycle rickshaws) and services of cab
- All cinema halls, malls, shopping complexes, gymnasiums, sports complexes, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places.
- All social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious
functions/ other gatherings.
- All religious places/ places of worship shall be closed for public. Religious
congregations are strictly prohibited.
- In case of funerals, congregation of more than twenty persons will not be
Operation of guidelines in Hotspots and containment zones
- `Hotspots’, areas of large COVID-19 outbreaks, or clusters with significant spread of COVID-19, will be determined as per the guidelines issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India (Gal).
- In these hotspots, containment zones will be demarcated by States/ UTs/ District administrations as per the guidelines of MoHFW.
- In these containment zones, the activities allowed under these guidelines will not be permitted. There shall be strict perimeter control in the area of the containment zones to ensure that there is no unchecked inward/ outward movement of population from these zones except for maintaining essential services (including medical emergencies and law and order related duties) and Government business continuity. The guidelines issued in this regard by MoHFW will be strictly implemented by State/ UT Governments and the local district authorities.
Selected permitted activities allowed with effect from 20th April, 2020:
To mitigate hardship to the public, select additional activities have been allowed which will come into effect from 20th April, 2020. These limited exemptions will be operationalized by States/ UTs/ district administrations based on strict compliance to the existing guidelines. Also, before allowing these select additional activities. States/ UTs/ district administrations shall ensure that all preparatory arrangements with regard to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for social distancing in offices, workplaces, factories and establishments, as also other sectoral requirements are in place.
The consolidated revised guidelines incorporating these select permitted activities have been enumerated in paras 5-20 below.
Strict enforcement of the lockdown guidelines
State/ UT Governments shall not dilute these guidelines issued under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, in any manner, and shall strictly enforce the samee.
State/ UT Governments, may, however, impose stricter measures than these guidelines as per requirement of the local areas.
All health services (including AYUSH) to remain functional, such as:
- Hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, telemedicine facilities.
- Dispensaries, chemists, pharmacies, all kinds of medicine shops including Jan Aushadhi Kendras and medical equipment shops.
- Medical laboratories and collection centres.
- Pharmaceutical and medical research labs, institutions carrying out COVI 0-19 related research.
- Veterinary Hospitals, dispensaries, clinics, pathology labs, sale and supply of vaccine and medicine.
- Authorised private establishments, which support the provisioning of essential services, or efforts for containment of COVID-19, including home care providers, diagnostics, supply chain firms serving hospitals.
- Manufacturing units of drugs, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, medical oxygen, their packaging material, raw material and intermediates.
- Construction of medical/ health infrastructure including manufacture of ambulances.
- Movement (inter and intra State, including by air) of all medical and veterinary personnel, scientists, nurses, para-medical staff, lab technicians, midwives and other hospital support services, including ambulances.
Agricultural and related activities:
All agricultural and horticultural activities to remain fully functional, such as:
- Farming operations by farmers and farm workers in field.
- Agencies engaged in procurement of agriculture products, including MSP operations.
- ‘Mandis’ operated by the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) or as notified by the State/ UT Government (e.g., satellite mandis).
- Direct marketing operations by the State/ UT Government or by industry directly from farmers/ group of farmers, FPOs’ co-operatives etc. States/ UTs may promote decentralized marketing and procurement at village level.
- Shops of agriculture machinery, its spare parts (including its supply chain) and repairs to remain open.
- ‘Custom Hiring Centres (CHC)’ related to farm machinery.
- Manufacturing, distribution and retail of fertilizers, pesticides and seeds.
- Movement (inter and Intra State) of harvesting and sowing related machines like combined harvester and other agriculture/ horticulture implements.
Fisheries – the following activities will be functional:
- Operations of the fishing (marine and inland)/ aquaculture industry, including feeding & maintenance, harvesting, processing, packaging, cold chain, sale and marketing.
- Hatcheries, feed plants, commercial aquaria.
- Movement of fish/ shrimp and fish products, fish seed/ feed and workers for all these activities.
Plantations- the following activities will be functional:
Operations of tea, coffee and rubber plantations, with maximum of 50% of workers
Processing, packaging, sale and marketing of tea, coffee, rubber and cashew, with maximum of 50% workers.
Animal husbandry — the following activities will be functional:
Collection, processing, distribution and sale of milk and milk products by milk processing plants, including transport and supply chain.
- Operation of animal husbandry farms including poultry farms & hatcheries and livestock farming activity.
- Animal feed manufacturing and feed plants, including supply of raw material, such as maize and soya.
- Operation of animal shelter homes
Financial sector: following to remain functional:
- Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and RBI regulated financial markets and entities
- like NPCI, CCIL, payment system operators and standalone primary dealers.
- Bank branches and ATMs, IT vendors for banking operations, Banking
- Correspondents (BCs), ATM operation and cash management agencies.
- Bank branches be allowed to work as per normal working hours till disbursal of DBT cash transfers is complete.
- Local administration to provide adequate security personnel at bank branches and BCs to maintain social distancing. law and order and staggering of account holders.
- SEBI, and capital and debt market services as notified by the Securities and
- Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
- IRDAI and Insurance companies.
Social sector: following to remain functional:
- Operation of homes for children/ disabled/ mentally challenged/ seniorcitizens/ destitutes/ women/ widows.
- Observation homes, after care homes and places of safety for juveniles.
- Disbursement of social security pensions, e.g., old age/ widow/ freedom fighter pensions; pension and provident fund services provided by Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).
- Operation of Anganwadis — distribution of food items and nutrition once in 15 days at the doorsteps of beneficiaries, e.g., children, women and lactating mothers.
Online teaching/ distance learning to be encouraged:
- All educational, training, coaching institutions etc. shall remain closed.
- However, these establishments are expected to maintain the academic schedule through online teaching.
- Maximum use of Doordarshan (DD) and other educational channels may be made for teaching purposes.
MNREGA works to be allowed:
- MNREGA works are allowed with strict implementation of social distancing and face mask.
- Priority to be given under MNREGA to irrigation and water conservation works.
- Other Central and State sector schemes in irrigation and water conservation sectors may also be allowed to be implemented and suitably dovetailed with MNREGA works.
Public utilities: following to remain functional:
- Operations of Oil and Gas sector, including refining, transportation, distribution, storage and retail of products, e.g., petrol, diesel, kerosene, CNG, LPG, PNG etc.
- Generation, transmission and distribution of power at Central and State/ UT
- Postal services, including post offices.
- Operations of utilities in water, sanitation and waste management sectors, at municipal/ local body levels in States and UTs.
- Operation of utilities providing telecommunications and Internet services.
Movement, loading/ unloading of goods/ cargo (inter and intra State) is allowed, as under:
- All goods traffic will be allowed to ply.
- Operations of Railways: Transportation of goods and parcel trains.
- Operations of Airports and related facilities for air transport for cargo movement, relief and evacuation.
- Operations of Seaports and Inland Container Depots (ICDs) for cargo transport, including authorized custom clearing and forwarding agents.
- Operations of Land Ports for cross land border transportation of essential goods, including petroleum products and LPG, food products, medical
- Movement of all trucks and other goods/ carrier vehicles with two drivers and one helper subject to the driver carrying a valid driving license; an empty truck/ vehicle will be allowed to ply after the delivery of goods, or for pick up of Shops for truck repairs and dhabas on highways, with a stipulated minimum distance as prescribed by the State/ UT authorities.
- Movement of staff and contractual labour for operations of railways, airports/ air carriers, seaports/ ships/ vessels.
- Landports and ICDs is allowed on passes being issued by the local authority on the basis of authorizations issued by the respective designated authority of the railways, airports, seaports, landports and 1CDs.
Supply of essential goods is allowed, as under:
- All facilities in the supply chain of essential goods, whether involved in manufacturing, wholesale or retail of such goods through local stores, large brick and mortar stores or e-Commerce companies should be allowed to operate, ensuring strict social distancing without any restriction on their timing of opening and closure.
- Shops (including Kirana and single shops selling essential goods) and carts, including ration shops (under PDS), dealing with food and groceries (for daily use), hygiene items, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, poultry, meat and fish, animal feed and fodder etc, should be allowed to operate, ensuring strict social distancing without any restriction on their timing of opening and closure.
- District authorities may encourage and facilitate home delivery to minimize the
movement of individuals outside their homes.
Commercial and private establishments, as listed below, will be allowed to operate:
- Print and electronic media including broadcasting, DTH and cable services.
- IT and IT enabled Services, with upto 50% strength.
- Data and call centres for Government activities only.
- Government approved Common Service Centres (CSCs) at Gram Panchayat
- E-commerce companies. Vehicles used by e-commerce operators will be allowed to ply with necessary permissions.
- Courier services.
- Cold storage and warehousing services, including at ports, airports, railway stations, container Depots, individual units and other links in the logistics
- Private security services and facilities management services for maintenance and upkeep of office and residential complexes.
- Hotels, homestays, lodges and motels, which are accommodating tourists and persons stranded due to lockdown, medical and emergency staff, air and sea
- Establishments used/ earmarked for quarantine facilities.
- Services provided by self-employed persons, e.g., electrician, IT repairs, plumbers, motor mechanics, and carpenters.
Industries/ Industrial Establishments (both Government and private), as listed below, will be allowed to operate:
- Industries operating in rural areas, i.e., outside the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities.
- Manufacturing and other industrial establishments with access control in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Export Oriented Units (EoUs), industrial estates, and industrial townships. These establishments shall make arrangements for stay of workers within their premises as far as possible and/ or adjacent buildings and for implementation of the Standard operating protocol (SOP) as referred to in para 21 (ii) below. The transportation of workers to workplace shall be arranged by the employers in dedicated transport by ensuring social distancing.
- Manufacturing units of essential goods, including drugs, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, their raw material and intermediates.
- Food processing industries in rural areas, i.e., outside the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities.
- Production units, which require continuous process, and their supply chain.
- Manufacturing of IT hardware.
- Coal production, mines and mineral production, their transportation, supply of explosives and activities incidental to mining operations.
- Manufacturing units of packaging material.
- Jute industries with staggered shifts and social distancing.
- Oil and gas exploration/ refinery.
- Brick kilns in rural areas i.e., outside the limits of municipal corporations.
Construction activities, listed as below, will be allowed to operate:
- Construction of roads, irrigation projects, buildings and all kinds of industrial projects, including MSMEs, in rural areas, i.e., outside the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities; and all kinds of projects in industrial estates.
- Construction of renewable energy projects.
- Continuation of works in construction projects, within the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities, where workers are available on site and no workers are required to be brought in from outside (in situ construction).
Movement of persons is allowed in the following cases:
- Private vehicles for emergency services, including medical and veterinary and for procuring essential commodities. In such cases, one passenger besides the private vehicle driver can be permitted in the backseat, in case of four-wheelers; however, in case of two-wheelers, only the driver of the vehicle is to be permitted.
- All personnel travelling to place of work and back in the exempted categories, as per the instructions of the State/ UT local authority.
Offices of the Government of India, its Autonomous/ Subordinate Offices will remain open, as mentioned below:
- Defence, Central Armed Police Forces, Health and Family Welfare, Disaster management and Early Warning Agencies (IMD, INCOIS, SASE and National Centre of Seismology.
- CWC), National Informatics Centre (NIG), Food Corporation of India (FCI), NCC, Nehru Yuva Kendras (NYKs) and Customs to function without any restriction.
- Other Ministries and Departments, and offices under their control, are to function with 100% attendance of Deputy Secretary and levels above that.
- Remaining officers and staff to attend upto 33% as per requirement.
Offices of the State/ Union Territory Governments, their Autonomous Bodies and Local Governments will remain open, as mentioned below:
- Police, home guards, civil defence, fire and emergency services, disaster management, prisons and municipal services will function without any All other Departments of State/ UT Governments to work with restricted staff.
- Group ‘A’ and ‘B’ officers may attend as required. Group ‘C’ and levels below that may attend upto 33% of strength, as per requirement to ensure social However, delivery of public services shall be ensured, and necessary staff will be deployed for such purpose.
- District administration and Treasury (including field offices of the Accountant General) will function with restricted staff. However, delivery of public services shall be ensured, and necessary staff will be deployed for such purpose.
- Resident Commissioner of States/ UTs, in New Delhi, only to the extent of coordinating COVID-19 related activities and internal kitchen operations.
- Forest offices: staff/ workers required to operate and maintain zoo, nurseries, wildlife, fire-fighting in forests, watering plantations, patrolling and their necessary transport movement.
Persons to remain under mandatory quarantine, as under:
- All such persons who have been directed by health care personnel to remain under strict home/ institutional quarantine for a period as decided by local Health Authorities.
- Persons violating quarantine will be liable to legal action under Section 188 of the IPC, 1860.
- Quarantined persons, who have arrived in India after 15.2.2020, after expiry of their quarantine period and being tested COVID-19 negative, will be released following the protocol prescribed in the SOP issued by MHA.
COVAXIN Clinical Trials on Children Aged 2 to 18 Approved, Gap Between COVISHIELD Doses Now 12-16 weeks
New Delhi: Faced with a shortage of vaccine, the Union government yesterday announced the extension of the gap between the first and second doses of COVISHIELD vaccine to 12-16 weeks. The present gap between the two doses of the COVISHIELD vaccine is 6-8 weeks. No change in the interval of COVAXIN vaccine doses was recommended.
The only logic behind this decision seems to cover more people for the first dose so that the fatality rate could be reduced. Further, it might take some pressure off India’s already overwhelmed healthcare services. Also, the Union government is under fire for the delay in supplying sufficient vaccine to the states to start covering the 18-44 age group. Several state including Himachal Pradesh had earlier opened the registration on April 28, but the delivery of vaccine was delayed.
Further, Drugs Controller General of India, India’s drug regulator, on Wednesday granted permission to Bharat Biotech Ltd to conduct the Phase II/III clinical trial of Covaxin in the age group of 2 to 18 years, said the Union Health Ministry.
The Ministry said the trial will be conducted on 525 healthy volunteers who will be administered two doses of the vaccine at a gap of 28 days through intramuscular shots.
Bharat Biotech had proposed to carry out a Phase- II/III clinical trial of Covaxin in the age group of 2 to 18 years, the ministry said.
“As a rapid regulatory response, the proposal was deliberated in Subject Expert Committee (SEC) (COVID-19) on May 11, 2021. The Committee after detailed deliberation recommended for grant of permission to conduct proposed Phase II/III clinical trial to certain conditions” it added.
Covaxin is India’s first domestically-developed Covid-19 vaccine. It is a two-dose jab that uses an inactivated or “dead” form of the virus. It was the first Covid-19 vaccine in the world to begin testing on children as young as 12 years of age in Phase II trials in September 2020.
Covaxin is being administered on adults (18 and above) in the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive in the country.
According to government statistics, the cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country stood at 17,91,77,029 on Thursday.
The government says that 4,37,192 beneficiaries of the age group 18-44 years received their first dose of COVID vaccine on Thursday and cumulatively 39,14,688 across 32 States/UTs since the start of Phase-3 of the vaccination drive.
Himachal Pradesh Government has announced that vaccination drive would open for the 18-44 years age group from May 17, 2021.
Stop Central Vista Project, Instead Buy Oxygen and Vaccine from Allocated Funds: 12 Opposition Parties Write to PM
Shimla-As India becomes the ground zero of the worst outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic due to its indifference to early warnings by the national and international scientists/health experts and early detection of cases with the new strain, the Union Government is under fire. The nation is uncertain of government’s plan to combat the current crisis.
A few days back, the Medical Association had come down heavily upon the Union Health Ministry alleging a poor approach towards combating the spread of deadly strain and manipulation of data related to Covid-19 deaths.
Now, in a joint letter written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 12 opposition parties of the country have given a nine-point suggestion list for measures to be taken for effectively combating the devastation Covid-19 spread is causing.
The parties demanded that the Central Vista construction should be stayed and the government should instead procure oxygen and vaccine from the allocated fund. The parties also demanded immediate initiation of free and universal mass vaccination across the country.
This is the second joint letter written to the Prime Minister by the opposition parties. A demand to ensure an uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen and free vaccinations was raised in the first letter.
The letter is signed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, JD(S) leader H D Deve Gowda, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, Chief Ministers Mamata Banerjee, M K Stalin, Uddhav Thackeray and Hemant Soren.
“We have repeatedly in the past drawn your attention, independently and jointly, to the various measures that are absolutely imperative for the Central government to undertake and implement. Unfortunately, your government has either ignored or refused all these suggestions. This only compounded the situation to reach such an apocalyptic human tragedy,” the joint letter said.
“Without going into all the acts of commission and omission by the Central government that have brought the country to such a tragic pass, we are of the firm opinion that the following measures must be undertaken on a war footing by your government,” the letter reads.
The leaders suggested procuring vaccines centrally from all available sources- global and domestic.
They also asked the government to immediately begin a free, universal mass vaccination campaign across the country.
A suggestion to invoke compulsory licensing to expand domestic vaccine production was also made.
The leaders have also asked the government to spend the budgetary allocation of Rs. 35,000 crores for the vaccines.
“Stop Central Vista construction. Use the allocated money for procuring oxygen and vaccines, instead. Release all money held in the unaccounted private trust fund, PM Cares to buy more vaccines, oxygen and medical equipment required” the parties demanded.
A proposal to provide all jobless at least with Rs. 6000 per month and free distribution of food grains to the needy was also given. Over one crore tonnes of food-grains are currently rotting in central godowns, they added.
Lastly, they reiterated their demand to repeal farm laws to protect lakhs of ‘annadatas’ from the virus.
“Though it has not been the practice of your office or government, we would appreciate a response to our suggestions in the interests of India and our people,” the letter stated.
The other signatories are Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, National Conference leader Dr Farooq Abdullah, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, CPI general secretary D Raja and CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury.
IMA Asks Govt, Why Are We Hiding the Actual Death Count? Demands Health Ministry to Wake Up from Slumber
New Delhi: Indian Medical Association has come out criticizing the lackadaisical attitude of the Ministry of Health in combating the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. The Association has demanded that the Health Ministry should wake up from slumber and respond to mitigate the growing challenges in the pandemic.
The Association came heavily upon the Ministry over several issues including shortage of oxygen and needed drugs and their rising prices, reluctance in imposing proper lockdown, failure to deliver the vaccine to all above 18-years in age, violence against doctors, and indifference of the ministry to the suggestions and inputs of the health professionals and experts.
The IMA, in a statement released today, said that it is astonished to see the extreme lethargy and inappropriate actions from the Ministry of health in combating the agonizing crisis born out of the devastating second wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic
The IMA alleges that the government isn’t even considering their requests.
“The collective consciousness, proactive cognizance, and requests made by IMA and other professional learned colleagues are put into the dust bin, and often without realizing the ground realities the decisions are taken,” IMA said in the statement.
Why We Are Trying to Hide Actual Deaths? Asks IMA
The IMA alleged that the transparency in reporting and making registry is not carried out.
“’ We have lost 756 doctors in the first wave and in the second wave, more than 146 doctors have died within a short period. Hundreds of deaths happening in big hospitals are shown as non-COVID deaths and crematoriums are showing houseful boards. RTPCR negative, but CT positive cases are not counted. Why we are trying to hide actual deaths?” the IMA asked.
The Association further said that if the public comes to know about the actual deaths, their seriousness to adopt COVID-appropriate behaviours will rise.
Further, the benefits of insurance are also denied to the victims of this pandemic when the death is not officially certified, the Association said.
Need for Complete, Planned Lockdown to Break the Chain
Further, the Association said that in the last 20 days it had been insisting on the need for complete, well-planned preannounced national lockdown rather than few states declaring complete lockdown ranging for 10 days to 15 days to getting breathing time for the health care infrastructure to recoup and replenish both the material and manpower. The Association said that lockdown will break the chain of devastating spread.
“However, the Central government had refused to head to implement lockdown resulting in the mounting of new patients beyond 4 lakhs every day and the number of moderate to severe cases is increasing to nearly 40 percent. Sporadic night curfews have not done any good. Life is precious than the economy,” the Association said.
Despite Oxygen Crisis, The Government is Not Seen at the Forefront to Solve It
The Association also took up the oxygen crisis India is facing. The crisis of oxygen is deepening every day and scores of people are succumbing to the 02 mismatch supply and it is creating panic both among patients and fraternity, the Association said. Though there is enough production it is often the distribution is not proper. Most of the private hospitals are not getting oxygen and in every public health care place patients are crowding and suffering to get oxygen in the needed amount. The Association further added that even after 15 days of the crisis, the government is not seen at the forefront to solve these issues and resulting in people knocking at the doors of courts to get justice, resulting in judicial activism.
“Health care professional organizations are neither consulted nor the Health minister in this whole pandemic had time to interact with modern medicine professional organizations to solve this issue. Imported oxygen concentrators and oxygen plants are yet to reach the beneficiaries, the IMA said.
“IMA appeal, as the time is running out with the impending crisis lest, we deepen the crisis, solve it on a war footing,” the statement said.
Ministry Failed to Ensure Vaccination for All Above 18 Years
The Association said that the equitable, accessible, and affordable vaccination for all above at least 18 years was demanded by the IMA based on scientific facts from April 6th onwards and after persistent call. It said that the prime minister assured the nation, the vaccination drive will be started from May 1st.
“It is unfortunate the ministry has failed to make the necessarily required road map and ensure vaccine stock, resulting in the majority of the places vaccination could not be rolled out for people above 18 years,” the statement said.
The Association said that with the un humanistic differential pricing system proposed, the 15-45 age group people are forbidden to get the free vaccination from the central share of 50% and they are placed under the mercy of state governments.
The jeopardy of private practitioners and states to negotiate with manufacturers for pricing and stock resulted in exorbitant price rise and vaccine shortage, the statement said.
“In 1997 and 2014 India could declare eradication of smallpox and polio, only by adopting the universal free vaccination and not by differential pricing system When 35,000 Crore Rs were allotted in the budget, with which the maximum required 200 crore vaccine dozes are purchasable, why the central government is shedding its responsibility?” the Association asked.
The Association said that unless the government comes out and implements with willingness and steadfastness for equitable distribution, the nation will not be able the achieve the goal. The Association pointed out that for the last 7 days no vaccine is available in small and medium private hospitals
Real Hazard Not explained in Actual Terms, Testing Decreasing Instead of Increasing
The IMA said that the mutation is a norm for RNA viruses and understanding this needs proper gene sequencing and risk assessment.
“Unless we make our self-prepared to face this by enhancing testing, we will miss the boat. Tough various mutants are identified yet the real hazard is not explained in actual terms. Dedicate experts shall be designated to study this and propose mitigation measures at the earliest. The IMA suggested for enhancing testing and tracing, but it is decreasing,” the statement said.
Shortage of Needed Drugs Mounting, Govt Not Capping Price and Removing GST
The IMA said that the shortage of needed drugs for treating COVID including steroids is mounting in many places. Though exporting is stopped off late, production is not enhanced to the level of need, resulting in black marketing and hoarding, it said.
“More painfully spurious drugs are on the road. Price capping and systematic tracking with surveillance were suggested as a means, but the government is not interested in capping the price and remove the GST. Masks, PPE Kits, and lifesaving drugs are under GST, and rampant price rise is happening a every day,” the IMA said.
Suggestions to Augment Manpower Ignored by Govt
The Association also said that manpower shortage is dealt with knee jerk reactions than with progressive inclusive planning and consultation with suffering junior doctors.
“Most of the inputs offered to augment manpower were not adopted by the Government,” the IMA said.
Control Violence Against Doctors
The Association highlighted that violence against doctors and health care professionals is increasing. When a death occurs not due to disease but lack of infrastructure, the affected people are expressing their anger by vandalizing hospitals and health care professionals, the Association said.
“Who is going to control this? Our demand to bring in Central law against hospital violence tagged with IPC provisions and declare hospitals as protective shown couldn’t evoke any palpable response from Government,” the IMA said.
“We once again reiterate, if the violence is not controlled and a safe environment is not created for doctors to work with peace, it is going to be a disastrous situation on the health care outcome,” it said.
The IMA has also demanded that the entire health care administration should be revamped with Indian Medical Service (IMS) cadets who are well versed with the technical and administrative skill for effective execution of health care.
The Association also demanded that to establish a new integrated Ministry to serve in this pandemic with a dedicated, proactive, vibrant, innovative, and altruistic Minister and alleviate the fear of people by leading from the front.
“We propose for augmentation of infrastructure, materials, and manpower by enhancing health care budget to be rabed from 1% of GDP to minimum 8-10% OF GDP and judiciously use the earmarked budget amount for ensuring equitable and affordable Universal vaccination,” the IMA said.
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