By ARUN PRATAP SINGH
DEHRADUN, 25 Mar: Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat today described in the Vidhan Sabha, today, the steps taken by the government to deal with the Corona Pandemic. Rawat said that the corona virus was a very serious challenge before the entire human race. It had shaken powerful and prosperous nations. He claimed that the nation and Uttarakhand were committed to defeating the Corona pandemic. Asserting that the state government had taken inspiration and guidance from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said many effective steps had been taken in Uttarakhand to curb the corona virus epidemic. The situation was being constantly monitored by the authorities and Uttarakhand was one of the leading states in the effort to fight this epidemic. The Chief Minister disclosed that, as part of these efforts, the provisions of the Epidemic Disease Control Act-1897, COVID-19 Regulation had been implemented and a State Task Force had been set up under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary. Also, two emergency cabinet meetings had been held to deal with this challenge. In view of the possibility of the virus spreading in the state, all the persons passing through Khatima in Udham Singh Nagar and in all the outposts of Indo-Nepal border in Banbasa and Tanakpur of Champawat district, Dharchula, Baluwakot, Joljeevi, Balaghat and Dura in Pithoragarh district were being screened. So far, 55,109 people had been screened at the entry points and, fortunately, no corona infected person had been found. Medical teams, ambulances, infrared thermometers had been arranged at each screening point. The international border was currently sealed. In coordination with the Airport Authority, 50,016 passengers were screened by the Health Department teams at Dehradun, Pantnagar and Pithoragarh airports. No person with suspected symptoms of corona virus was found. At present, domestic flights had also been stopped completely. Since 31 December, 2019, the list of passengers coming from China and other affected countries had been regularly provided to the state government by the Government of India. This included a total of 2082 people, all of them having transited at the airport. Their screening had been done. Out of the above list, 628 people had completed the 28-day mandatory observation period, while 131 people had gone out of the state and, at present, 1323 people were under observation. Of these, 1244 were isolated in their homes and 79 were in hospitals. The CM added that all domestic and international tourists had been barred from 20 March till future orders. All schools, colleges, cinema halls, malls, etc., had been closed till 31 March to prevent crowding and this period had now been extended till 15 April. He said that for the prevention and treatment of Corona virus infection in the state, an amount of Rs 50 crore had been released by the State Cabinet and an amount of Rs 10 crore had also been made available immediately from the Chief Minister’s Assistance Fund. Rapid Response Teams (RTT) had been formed at the state and district levels, while public awareness and publicity was being generated at the block and village levels through ANMs, ASHAs, Gram Pradhans and village level committees. The supply of essential services and supplies was being ensured during the period of lockdown and all efforts were being made to ensure that the lower income group did not suffer. Rs 1000 per month were being disbursed to the registered workers. To provide basic food items to the labourers of the state who were not registered, an amount of Rs 30 crores had been released from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to the District Magistrates. All these efforts were being made so that no poor family was deprived of food grains during this lockdown period. The Chief Minister declared that, in these efforts, cooperation of the Police Department and SDRF was being taken and training of officers and employees was also being done. All the suspected corona virus infected persons were being treated free of cost. For effective coordination, prompt action, information and guidance, a control room had been set up at the state level run by senior officers. Advice had been issued to avoid the infection of COVID-19 through all communication channels and the advice was being circulated continuously. Isolation facilities and institutional quarantine had been arranged in all districts. Separate Isolation Wards had been arranged in all major hospitals and medical colleges and, currently, 933 Isolation Beds were reserved for the Corona Virus in various hospitals. Along with this, 1384 beds had been arranged for institutional quarantine in all districts. Currently, 1323 persons were under 28-day observation period. So far, 237 samples had been taken in the state, out of which reports of 162 samples had been received, with 158 samples testing negative, and 4 cases being found positive. The reports of 75 samples were still awaited.