Coronavirus: Centre sends teams to Guj, Telangana, TN

Coronavirus: Centre sends teams to Ahmedabad, Surat, Thane, Hyderabad and Chennai

Representative image/PTI Photo

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday sent five Central teams to make an on-the-spot assessment of coronavirus situation in Ahmedabad, Surat, Thane, Hyderabad and Chennai following these cities witnessing violations of lockdown measures that is posing "serious health hazard".

Last week, the MHA had sent six Inter-Ministerial Central Teams (IMCTs) teams to 11 districts in four states, including seven in West Bengal and two in Maharashtra, saying that the situation in these places was "especially serious".

According to an MHA spokesperson, the situation is "especially serious" in major hotspot districts or emerging hotspots in Ahmedabad and Surat in Gujarat, Thane (Maharashtra), Hyderabad (Telangana); and Chennai (Tamil Nadu). Additional Secretary-level officers will lead the teams in these districts too.

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Two teams are already in Maharashtra's Mumbai and Pune while Thane is the new addition.

"IMCTs focus on a range of issues, including compliance and implementation of lockdown measures as per guidelines, the supply of essential commodities, social distancing, preparedness of the health infrastructure, safety of health professionals and conditions of relief camps for labourers and poor people," the spokesperson said.

At the daily COVID-19 briefing, MHA Joint Secretary Punya Salila Srivastava provided the assessment of the teams, which visited Indore and Mumbai.

According to the team that visited Indore, Srivastava said the availability of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and masks as well as health infrastructure and the number of healthcare professionals were adequate. The administration was also implementing the lockdown measures satisfactorily, she said adding the team had visited hotspot and containment zone in Mhow.

The team also appreciated the efforts of the authorities in ensuring that farmers being able to sell their produce without visiting markets.

On Mumbai, Srivastava said the team visited three localities, including Dharavi. In Dharavi, she said, the team found because of the use of common toilets, people have to leave their homes despite lockdown and suggested that the administration set up portable toilets in localities.

The team also suggested that 2-3,000 people in Dharavi should be sent to institutional quarantine centres as well as increasing the testing capacity and the number of surveillance teams.