Mumbai

No shortage of N-95 and triple layer masks, Tope tells Council

Cyber police told to crack down on spread of misinformation

Not a single person in Maharashtra has tested positive for COVID-19, Health Minister Rajesh Tope asserted in the Legislative Council on Wednesday. He also said the State has no shortage of the necessary masks and that he has directed the police to take action against anyone spreading misinformation.

The Council Chairman had called a special session on Wednesday morning to discuss measures to deal with COVID-19. After listening to all the members’ concerns, the Health Minister made a long statement before the House.

He said that most of the air and sea passengers who underwent thermal screening on arriving in the State, and were subsequently quarantined, have tested negative for the virus and been discharged.

Test results of a couple of them are awaited, while a few passengers remain in isolation.

Mr. Tope has also instructed the cyber crime unit to crack down on anyone spreading misinformation and creating panic.

“We have purchased enough N-95 and triple layer masks. The State will ensure sufficient funds are available for an emergency situation, and if needed, the contingency fund will be used as well. All existing laws provide for action against anyone hoarding masks or selling them at exorbitant prices,” he said.

Regarding measures undertaken by the State, Mr. Tope said, “All district hospitals have already set up quarantine wards holding 10 beds each. Doctors in all districts are being trained in ventilator management facility, and other dos and don’ts while handling suspected novel coronavirus cases. Private hospitals have also been roped in.” He said personal protective equipment has been distributed to all hospitals.

Responding to one member’s demand, he said it was not possible to set up NIV-like laboratories in every district, as it is a highly specialised institute.

The minister said people in general need not wear masks, but can use handkerchiefs to cover their faces. He also advised people to wash hands regularly.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 9:12:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/no-shortage-of-n-95-and-triple-layer-masks-tope-tells-council/article30985527.ece

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