Andhra Pradesh

Come out with a national COVID strategy, former bureaucrat urges Centre

With the daily new COVID-19 cases exceeding 4 lakhs and the daily number of deaths exceeding 4,000, and with nationwide shortages in terms of ambulances, hospital beds, ICU facilities, ventilators, oxygen and even cremation space, former Union Secretary E.A.S. Sarma, has asked the Central government to come out with a national COVID strategy.

In a letter addressed to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, he has suggested the declaration of a National COVID Emergency, as part of the plan, which would include a nationwide lockdown till end of May with a comprehensive social security cover for migrant workers, deferment of all elections for the next six months at least and declare all healthcare equipment, drugs, facilities as essential ones to be subject to the State regulation.

‘Form national committee’

Mr. Sarma suggested that the emergency should be monitored by an all-party national committee consisting of senior representatives of the Centre, the States and all political parties on one platform.

He also suggested that the plan can be modelled on the same lines as adopted by the Bombay Municipal Corporation, which focusses on a patient-centric approach with empathy.

Mr. Sarma in his proposal urged both the Union and the State governments to convert vacant large buildings, marriage halls, sports stadiums etc. into hospital space, in association with the defence services and provide treatment free of cost to the needy.

He also pointed out the need for prioritising vaccination and improving the present system, as people have to wait for long hours in risky environment for the jab.

He also urged the government to also increase the budgetary allocation for health infrastructure.


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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 6:34:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/come-out-with-a-national-covid-strategy-former-bureaucrat-urges-centre/article34520267.ece

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