Union ministers will submit a daily report to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on the steps being taken across the country to rein in the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) and the measures being taken to quarantine people, health care facilities and availability of essential commodities amid the social distancing.
The exercise is being undertaken after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day lockdown, which expires on April 14, across the country on Tuesday and urged people to scale up efforts to fight the spread of Covid-19 that has so far claimed 17 lives.
According to two people aware of the details, a decision was taken in the cabinet meeting earlier this week to put ministers in-charge of states to monitor the situation on a daily basis. For larger states and those with a bigger population, two or more ministers have been assigned to follow up with district magistrates (DMs) or district commissioners (DCs) on the ground situation on a daily basis.
For instance, Union Minister for Law and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan will jointly take stock of the ground realities in their home state Bihar daily.
“The ministers will call the DMs or the DCs of every district on a daily basis and take stock of the situation on the ground. This is an attempt to work together and create a synergy between the Centre and the states to strengthen the fight against the pandemic,” said a minister.
The ministers will seek information on the steps being taken to run community kitchens for those in need; assess the preparedness at the hospitals; check the availability of drugs, essential commodities and personal protective equipment such as masks and sanitizers.