Millennium Post

6 lakh migrants in 21K relief camps

New Delhi: As the national Coronavirus lockdown entered its seventh day, the Home Ministry, in a press briefing, said over 6 lakh migrant workers have been housed in 21,000 relief camps.

According to Punya Salila Srivastava, a Joint Secretary in Ministry of Home Affairs, over 23 lakh people are also being provided with food at these camps.

"The reports of implementation of lockdown in states and UTs are satisfactory. The essential supplies system is also running satisfactorily as interstate cargo movement is going on smoothly," Srivastava said.

Earlier in the day, CJI SA Bobde told the Centre to ensure migrants who had been shifted to shelter homes received food, nourishment and medical aid. His instruction came after the government stated that all migrants on the road had been shifted to the nearest available shelters as they pose a risk of spreading the Coronavirus if they return home.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the government to rope in community and religious leaders to speak to people and provide those without a roof a shelter within 24 hours.

The Health ministry on Tuesday stated that the number of hotspots of the disease has increased, and also underlined that it is implementing rigorous contact tracing and cluster containment strategies. Addressing the daily press conference to provide updates on the COVID-19 situation, Joint Secretary in Health ministry Lav Agarwal said 227 cases have been reported in the last 24 hours and he attributed the increase to "lack of people's support and delay in timely detection" of the cases.

Underlying that the government will further increase the availability of protective gear for medical professionals, he said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has identified suppliers in South Korea, Turkey and Vietnam to improve logistics in the country during the COVID-19 crisis.

Cases of medical professionals getting infected with COVID-19 are not due to any negligence, he said.

The official further said a group of Union ministers on Tuesday took stock of the situation and stressed on the need for readying dedicated COVID-19 hospitals.

Seeking cooperation from the public to fight the pandemic, Agarwal said there was no need to panic. He also said not everyone needs to wear masks and that following social distancing is more important to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Union Health ministry has recommended the use of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine in combination with azithromycin on those severely suffering from COVID-19 who require ICU management.

In its revised guidelines on the 'Clinical Management of COVID-19' issued on Tuesday, the ministry said the drug is presently not recommended for children aged less than 12 and pregnant and lactating women.

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