Working on rapid testing capabilities, vaccine development, says Health Ministry
United News of India
New Delhi, Apr 17: The Group of Ministers on COVID-19 on Friday reviewed the testing strategy and availability of testing kits across the country along with the strategy for hotspots and cluster management and was informed that all districts have been asked to prepare and strengthen their contingency plans to combat COVID-19.
The 12th meeting of GoM on COVID-19, which met at Nirman Bhawan here, under the chairmanship of Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, was informed that 170 districts were put in the red zone (hotspots) with 123 districts with large outbreaks and 47 districts with clusters.
There were 207 non-hotspot districts with clusters and 353 districts which were placed in green zone as they were non-infected.
If no case was reported in past 14 days then the red zone district would be placed under orange zone and no further case was reported in next 14 days then that district would come under green zone.
The GoM had detailed deliberation on containment and management of COVID-19 and discussed the actions taken so far, current status of social distancing measures as a preventive strategy and the stringent actions taken by the Centre as well as the States to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Dr Harsh Vardhan directed that there should not be any dilution of quality and standards in manufacturing of PPEs, masks, ventilators and other equipments. He also suggested that stringent punishment may be placed for the manufacturers in case of any deviation from the quality standards/protocols while manufacturing the PPEs, masks and Ventilators.
Also discussed were several other measures about strengthening capacity of states including devoting adequate resources for creating dedicated COVID-19 hospitals, equipping the medical institutes with PPEs, ventilators and other essential equipment in detail. States have been asked to identify COVID-19 centres/hospitals according to already laid guidelines.
‘Working on rapid testing capabilities, vaccine development’
Meanwhile, Joint Secretary Health Ministry Lav Agarwal on Thursday said that the government is extensively working towards enhancing testing capabilities for COVID-19 and working on developing rapid and precise testing kits which can give result in 30 minutes.
The government with CSIR and other agencies is working to increase testing capacity so that testing is done in an accurate manner with innovative pooling strategies to reduce the test result time.
He said that work is also being done on viral sequencing and vaccine development.
The country is working with global partners so that effective vaccines can be developed and efforts are being done to speed up these processes.
Agarwal added that it is also important to work on development of effective drugs; as there is no proven drug now.
Our traditional knowledge in boosting immunity is also being taken into account, as part of a multi-pronged effort, he added.