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Centre to give all help to states to combat COVID-19: Ashwini Choubey

By The Assam Tribune

NEW DELHI, April 28: Union Health State Minister Ashwini Choubey said that the Central government will leave no stone unturned in fighting against the novel coronavirus pandemic. For this, the Centre is constantly providing the PPEs, testing kits, masks, medicines and all possible help to the state in the fight against Covid-19, he said.

In an exclusive interview with IANS, the Minister said that whatever steps the government has taken under the direction and instructions of the Prime Minister have fetched positive results so far. "If we compare India with other countries, then the infection rate of coronavirus is very low here. This could only be possible through timely implementation of the lockdown," he said.

He said that because of the foresight of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the lockdown was implemented when there were only 600 cases in India. "Therefore, the infection rate is very low here and the whole world is praising us for this step. We have adopted all precautionary measures in India on time," he said.

"It is the result of constant monitoring that 16 districts that earlier had reported coronavirus cases have not reported even a single new case since past 28 days. After April 24, three more districts -- Maharashtra's Gondiya, Karnataka's Devenagari and Bihar's Lakhisarai -- have been added to this. Overall, 85 districts in the country have not reported even a single case of coronavirus in last 14 days," Choubey said.

But we need to be more alert, he said, adding that there are two districts in the country which did not have any case during the last 28 days but now have reported infection. Hence, we need to be more conscious, he added.

The Union State Minister said that the Prime Minister during his interaction with the Chief Ministers on Monday advised them to be "aware and alert". Modi told the states that we have to break the chain of virus. Red Zone and Orange Zone have to be removed and turned into green. Therefore, it is also the aim of the Union Health Ministry to convert the Red Zone into Orange Zone and the Orange into Green Zone. He said that the Central government's fight is against the disease and not against the sick people.

He said all possible help is being provided by the Central government to every state. There is no discrimination against anyone. Necessary medical equipment have been provided to all states. There is no shortage of any kind of resources in the country. At present, all kinds of help are being provided to the states, he added.

On the issue of complaint of test kits by several states, Choubey said that a meeting was held with the Health Ministers of the states in this context. There were certainly complaints, but many states also praised the test kits. As far as the test kits are concerned, the ICMR has given directions to the states on faulty kits. Action will be taken after the report is received. The Centre will provide good kits to all states. The government will not spend a single penny on the faulty test kits.

"If you look at the data of the last three days, the number of corona infected people is now doubling in ten days which was earlier five days ... the figures are getting better continuously. We all working together in the fight against this virus," he further said.

While praising the Prime Minister, Ashwini Choubey said that when the Union Health Ministry came to know about the novel coronavirus in the first week of January, preparations started under the guidance of Modi, without missing a single day. The process of regular monitoring of passengers arriving from abroad at the airports was started along with their screening. Cabinet teams were formed. All officials including Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan began contacting states constantly. Daily meetings were held with Health Ministers and Health Secretaries. Successive important steps were taken which succeeded in preventing the infection to a great extent.

He said, "The Ministry of Health is aware and alert. Every aspect is reviewed on a daily basis. All states are approached and are made aware of the situation there. On Friday, in this connection, Harsh Vardhan and I spoke to the Health Ministers of all the states and union territories through video conferencing. We are confident that with the cooperation of all, India will definitely win the war against corona."

On the question of the lockdown, the Union Minister of State for Health, said that even now the experts also believe that this is an effective way to prevent the spread of the infection. Together they have to successfully win the war against Corona. The central and state governments are engaged in this.

He has asked people to regularly follow the guidelines issued for the Social Distancing by the central and state governments. Only by this we can break the chain of this transition.

He said that there is a lot of awareness among the countrymen about the virus and that there is a need to maintain that awareness. All of us can win this fight with resolve, patience and discipline as the Prime Minister says. We all have to carry on our efforts. The health policy of the government is based on "Survey Bhavantu Sukhin: Survey Santu Niramaya" (All should be healthy and all should be benefited).

Choubey, the second time MP from Buxar in Bihar was also the Minister of State for Health in the first term of the Modi government. He has been a five-time MLA from Bhagalpur in Bihar. He has also been the Health Minister of Bihar in the Nitish Kumar government. - IANS

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