Andhra Pradesh

Act fast to contain COVID-19, parties and corporates urged

Govt. should ask the industry to manufacture more marks, ventilators and material: ex-IAS officer

Political parties and corporates have to act fast to contain COVID-19, said social activist and former IAS officer E.A.S. Sarma.

Instead of getting bogged down in procedures, the government should ask the industry not only to work to their full capacity but also to the extent possible, divert all its resources to manufacture more masks, ventilators and other material to ensure that COVID-19 campaign will not get constrained by shortages. Appreciating the role played by the Parliamentarians and their support in fighting against the virus, he said the Finance Ministry and the Health Ministry should constitute a team of eminent doctors to place orders on a nomination basis to speed up delivery at this crucial hour. They should be given full freedom to take decisions. The CAG can be kept informed.

In separate mails to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, he said the campaign against COVID-19 is assuming urgency in view of the rapidly increasing rate at which the States have been reporting virus-positive cases.

The Central and the State governments cannot afford to lose even a day in the campaign to contain the spread of the virus, in ramping up the medical infrastructure, in equipping the medical/ paramedical staff to insulate themselves from getting infected, in protecting the lakhs of the sanitation workers who are equally, if not more, exposed to the contagion.

Mr. Sarma said in the coming one or two months, it is likely that the number of COVID-19 positive cases will peak, bringing the infrastructure under an enormous stress and making community transmission of the virus a reality. While the Centre has the overall responsibility to help the States, it is the States that have the cutting edge responsibility for containing the virus spread, he opined.

More testing centres

He said the Union Ministry of Health has the overall responsibility to set up additional coronavirus testing facilities across the country, enable the industry to manufacture coveralls, masks, gloves, hand sanitisers and ventilators and coordinate the Centre and the States’ efforts. Stating that the Healthy Ministry has put in a commendable effort, if need be more budgetary allocations should be made if necessary by diverting funds from other less essential schemes.

The Central and the State governments should intervene and ensure that every worker engaged in anti-Covid-19 work is equipped with safety-certified masks, gloves and sanitisers. Hoarders should be proceeded against. Price controls should be imposed and enforced.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 3:22:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/act-fast-to-contain-covid-19-parties-and-corporates-urged/article31154546.ece

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