New Delhi: India’s response to Covid at points of entry was proactive, pre-emptive and graded, the Centre said on Wednesday (September 7) underlining that effective surveillance at such points delayed the arrival and spread of the disease, giving time for developing the necessary health infrastructure and capacities to effectively handle it. Points of entry (PoEs) are the first line of defence for the country to protect from any public health emergency of international concern, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said.
“The effective surveillance at PoEs, delayed the arrival and spread of COVID-19 which allowed the nation ample time to develop the necessary public health infrastructure and capacities to effectively handle the pandemic,” he said while addressing a workshop on “Roadmap to Strengthen Public Health Preparedness and Response Capabilities of Points of Entry (PoEs) in India”.
The two-day workshop was attended by officials from airport health organisations, port health organisations, land port health organisations, IDSP, NCDC, disaster management officials, and partner organisations like NIDM, SDMAs and CISF.
Additional secretary Lav Agarwal highlighted the various commendable innovations taken to strengthen PoEs against the pandemic which included paperless health screening, Air Suvidha portal, the deployment of digital technologies to facilitate planning, surveillance, testing, contact tracing, a health ministry statement said. “He added that we need to institutionalise the lessons learnt in the pandemic for the future generations. The best practices and benchmarks of performance at points of entry we have today have evolved by our collective efforts as a team,” the statement said.
The workshop, which began on Tuesday, was organised by Central International Health (IH) Division, Directorate General of Health Services and Union Ministry of Health.
The aim of the workshop was to provide a platform to carry forward the lessons learnt during the pandemic for future strengthening and also for cross learning and knowledge sharing to bring together various stakeholders working in the field of public health and disaster management, the statement said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. 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 will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that 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 the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.