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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday reviewed the functioning of three empowered groups and asked them to ease supply-chain challenges, improve reach of food grains to poor and migrants, and favoured use of volunteers in non-specialized roles to lessen the pressure on healthcare sector.

The empowered group on economic and welfare measures also made a presentation to PM on steps taken such as extension of PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. It was discussed that portability enabled due to One Nation One Ration Card initiative has helped to benefit more people. PM was briefed that insurance scheme for frontline health workers has been extended for another six months.

“PM directed (that) central government should work in close co-ordination with the states to ensure that the poor get the benefits of free food-grain without any issues. PM also said that steps should be taken to expedite the settlement of pending Insurance claims so that the dependents of the deceased are able to avail of benefits in time," PMO said in a statement.

The Empowered Group on issues relating to facilitating supply chain and logistics management gave a presentation on various advisories relating to measures to be taken to contain the pandemic. “PM instructed officials to plan holistically to ensure seamless movement of goods so that supply chain disruptions are avoided," PMO added.

The empowered group on coordinating with private sector, NGOs and International Organizations briefed PM Modi on how government is working with them.

“PM asked the officials to explore how volunteers from civil society can be utilised to lessen the pressure on healthcare sector by invoking them in non-specialized tasks," the PMO said.

India is facing massive healthcare challenge due to the surge in covid-19 cases and for last few days the country is reporting over 350,000 news cases every day and on 29 April alone, around 386,000 new positive cases were reported and over 3500 people died.

“It was discussed that NGOs could help to establish and maintain lines of communication between the patients, their dependents & health care personnel. Ex Servicemen could be encouraged to handle call centres for communicating with people under home quarantine," the PMO added.

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