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Coronavirus: MHA creates 5 more central teams to boost virus surveillance

Workers line up for food packets at Dharavi after the movement was restricted to contain the pandemic. (Satish Bate/HT)Premium
Workers line up for food packets at Dharavi after the movement was restricted to contain the pandemic. (Satish Bate/HT)

  • While the situation is stable in Indore, Mumbai's slum areas need greater attention, the existing IMCTs had reported
  • In Mumbai's Dharavi area, despite lockdown people have to step out to use communal toilets, adding significantly to the risk of spreading the virus

NEW DELHI : The Union home ministry on Friday constituted five more inter-ministerial central teams to step up surveillance across the country in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, taking the total of such teams to 11.

The ministry’s move comes against the backdrop of India reporting close to 23,000 cases of coronavirus.

“The Centre has constituted five inter-ministerial central teams to make on-spot assessment of situation, issue necessary directions to state authorities for redressal and submit their report to the central government in the larger interest of the general public," the Union home ministry said.

The teams focus on a range of issues, including “compliance and implementation of lockdown measures according to guidelines, supply of essential commodities, social distancing, preparedness of the health infrastructure, safety of health professionals and conditions of relief camps for labour and poor people," Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla has written to states seeking their cooperation. “Violations of lockdown measures have been reported, posing a serious health threat to the public and risk of spread of covid-19. Incidents range from violence on frontline healthcare professionals and police personnel and violations of social distancing norms, to opposition to setting up of quarantine centres," the home ministry said.

“The situation is especially serious in major hotspot districts or emerging hotspots such as Ahmedabad and Surat in Gujarat, Thane in Maharashtra, Hyderabad in Telangana, and Chennai in Tamil Nadu," the ministry said. The team in Indore has said in its report to the home ministry that out of “171 containment zones in the city, 20 are critical".

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