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Centre deputes 30 joint secy, senior officers to assist state

New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday deputed 30 officers in the rank of Joint Secretary and above to states so that they can effectively deal with the outbreak of coronavirus.

The move comes after 138 people so far tested positive and three persons died of the outbreak.

"The Government of India deputes 30 officers of Joint Secretary and above level, to assist state governments in effective management of #COVID19india," an official spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, the cabinet secretary held a review meeting of officials concerned from various ministries and departments here on Tuesday.

During the meeting, the secretary emphasised on the implementation of social distancing measures as detailed by guidelines of Ministry of Health, an official statement said.

"Social distancing would have a major impact in limiting the spread of the disease," he said as he reviewed the preparedness of various states for quarantine facilities, hospital management and awareness campaigns.

"In order to ensure effective and seamless coordination between the Centre and states, 30 nodal officers of the level of Joint Secretary and above have been drawn from various ministries to liaison, coordinate and help the states with respect to anything that is required from the Government of India," the statement said.

An orientation meeting of all the officers will be held on Wednesday, it said.

Union health secretary has also written to the secretaries of all ministries and departments requesting them to implement the various guidelines and advisories that have been issued and are applicable to them and the organisations under them.

Health Ministry, Joint Secretary, Lav Aggarwal said the COVID-19 cases in India have risen to 138 and the number of deaths stand at three. The 138 figure includes 24 foreign nationals. Over 5,700 people who came in contact with those who tested positive are under rigorous surveillance, Aggarwal said.

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