The Central government has set up five additional inter-ministerial central teams (IMCTs), led by the Additional Secretary level officers, to monitor implementation of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) induced lockdown, the supply of essential goods and other related issues.
The Centre has constituted two IMCTs for Gujarat and one each for Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra (area of responsibility of earlier constituted Mumbai-Pune team expanded).
These teams would make an on-spot assessment of the situation and issue necessary directions to State Authorities for its redressal and submit their report to Central Government in the larger interest of the general public.
“In some of the districts of the country, a number of violations of the lockdown measures have been reported, posing a serious health hazard and risk for spread of COVID-19, which is against the general interest of the public. These violations include incidents ranging from violence on frontline healthcare professionals, attacks on police personnel, violations of social distancing norms in market places and opposition to setting up of quarantine centres and so on,” the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement.
It added, “The situation is especially serious in major hotspot districts or emerging hotspots like Ahmedabad and Surat (Gujarat); Thane (Maharashtra); Hyderabad (Telangana); and Chennai (Tamil Nadu). These teams would use expertise of the Centre and augment State efforts to fight and contain spread of COVID-19 effectively.”
The IMCTs would be focusing on a range of issues including compliance and implementation of lockdown measures as per guidelines issued under the Disaster Management Act 2005; supply of essential commodities; social distancing in the movement of people outside their homes; preparedness of health infrastructure, hospital facilities and sample statistics in the District; safety of health professionals, availability of test kits, PPEs, masks and other safety equipment; and conditions of the relief camps for labour and poor people.
If the incidents of above-mentioned violations are allowed to occur without any restraining measures in hotspot districts/emerging hotspots or even places where large outbreaks or clusters may be expected, it would pose a serious health hazard for the people of the country.
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