NEW DELHI, March 23: There is a need for all states to take more pre-emptive action to stop the spread of Covid-19 given the "sharp increase" in the number of cases across the country, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba said on Sunday.
In a letter to all Chief Secretaries of state and Union Territories following their meeting, he said that "it is expected that the states would take all necessary pre-emptive actions to contain the spread of Covid-19 by using the available legal provisions especially in those districts and regions where confirmed cases have been reported or a large number of people are under surveillance due to risk of infection".
According to Gauba, the focus should be on closure of all activities, except essential services, save hospitals, telecom, medicine shops, provision stores, and establishment/factories for manufacturing/distribution of medicines, face masks and so on.
"All efforts should be made to prevent unnecessary travel," he stressed, while citing the closure of train and Metro rail services across the country.
He also advised that the end of the Janata curfew on Sunday evening not lead to large scale movement of assembly, by using prohibitory orders. Many states have extended the 'curfew' timings till Monday morning or announced total lockdowns.
Gauba also told the Chief Secretaries to request employees to work from home, and provide remuneration for the period, while taking proactive measures to mitigate any hardships for vulnerable sections, like casual labour and daily wagers.
He also asked them to assess the availability of medical services and scale them up to meet any contingency, and zero in dedicated hospitals for Covid-19 patients. - IANS