The Centre warned of an “increasing trend” in COVID-19 cases — 519 active ones by Tuesday evening — in the country and called upon State governments to enhance surveillance and contact testing of those who may have been infected.
COVID-19 | Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India
Meanwhile, complaints of shortage of Personal Protection Equipment for doctors and health workers poured in from across the country, indicating critical gaps in efforts to contain the pandemic.
In a Twitter post that soon went viral, Kamna Kakkar, a government doctor in Haryana’s Rohtak, addressing the Prime Minister’s Office, said: “Please don’t send me to war without weapons @PMOIndia. Please arrange #PersonalProtective Equipment for us doctors ASAP. We need #N95masks #HazmatSuits to defeat #Corona. Sincerely yours, an Indian Doctor”. Following the tweet, the Congress attacked the government over the inadequate supply of equipment.
Enforcing stringent curbs, cases were booked against several people for violating prohibitory orders.
With the lockdown hitting the Indian industry hard and causing job losses, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters an economic package to help tide over the crisis will be announced very soon.
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In a letter to Chief Secretaries on Tuesday, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba asked them to ensure that no suspected or high-risk person was left out of surveillance efforts to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
He also called upon chief secretaries to make sure that hospitals are earmarked for treating COVID-19 cases and in a state of “full readiness” to deal with the situation in the event of a “further spike in the number of confirmed cases.”
Meanwhile complaints of discrimination against healthcare workers, airline staff and people who have been quarantined have also emerged.
As journalists and workers associated with the media faced police action amid the lockdown in some parts of the country, the Centre advised States to facilitate functioning of all print and electronic media outlets.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) said in an advisory, “false and fake news need to be avoided and good practices need to be promoted and these networks play a pivotal role in ensuring the same.”
Full guidelines from Home Ministry on services that are to be available during 21-day lockdown