Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday held a meeting to review the actions and preparedness for COVID-19 management through videoconferencing with the Health Ministers and Chief Secretaries of the States and the Union Territories and other officers of the Health Departments.
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Dr. Vardhan urged the States/the Union Territories to attend on priority to the issue of health workers’ transport so that there was no shortage of doctors, nurses and other health staff in medical facilities.
He advised the States to make common travelling arrangements for doctors, nurses and other health workers and took up the matter of effective coordination with the AIIMS portal for COVID-19 patient care and active coordination with the Indian Medical Association and other associations of nurses and paramedics.
Directive to landlords
Pointing to some recent reports of some landlords and owners evicting doctors/paramedics who were serving the country in combating COVID-19, he strongly advised the States to issue a directive to landlords not to evict doctors, nurses and other health workers.
The Health Minister also stated that the government today announced a ₹50 lakh insurance cover for doctors, paramedics, healthcare workers dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. He advised the States to provide funds under the National Health Mission to medical colleges for procuring COVID-19-related items.
Stressing the need to ensure the mental health of those in quarantine, Dr. Vardhan advised the States to start a helpline for those already in quarantine (psychologists).
Stating that telemedicine guidelines had been issued and an application was being launched, he asked the States to identify the hub of doctors who would use the application to advise people at home.