- At present, Uttarakhand has 1,112 active COVID-19 cases
- 1,706 people have lost their lives to the pandemic in the state
- The daily testing numbers reported are not enough: Centre to Uttarakhand
Dehradun: Amid the rising number of coronavirus cases, the Uttarakhand government has released a new set of guidelines to be followed, which requires people to strictly adhere to COVID-19 norms in view of Holi, Mahakumbh and other festivals. The Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to be followed till April 30 was released by Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Om Prakash on Wednesday (March 24). According to the new SOP, the district administrations can reinstate containment zones. They have also been asked to impose penalties on people not complying with COVID norms, such as masks wearing and maintaining social distancing.
At present, the state has 1,112 active cases. So far, 96062 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Uttarakhand while 1706 people have lost their lives to the deadly disease. The Kumbh Mela is slated to be held from April 1 to 30 in Haridwar. The Uttarakhand government has decided to limit the Kumbh this year to 30 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Sunday had written a letter to Chief Secretary Uttarakhand in which he advised the state government to increase the number of RTPCR tests, to follow the standard operating procedures issued by the health ministry and to display signages to disseminate the main points of the SOPs.
“The state has been informed that the daily testing numbers reported in Haridwar (i.e.50,000 Rapid Antigen Tests and 5,000 RTPCR tests) are not enough to effectively offset the huge number of expected pilgrim footfall. It has been advised that the share of RTPCR tests being conducted at present needs to be significantly increased as per the ICMR guidelines to ensure that the pilgrims and local population are appropriately tested,” the letter read.
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NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.