India Coming Together Against COVID-19
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Chief Ministers Join The #IndiaAgainstCOVID19 Telethon To Talk About Their Fight With The COVID-19 Pandemic

Chief Ministers Join The #IndiaAgainstCOVID19 Telethon To Talk About Their Fight With The COVID-19 Pandemic
India has 4,281 confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
New Delhi: 

With more than 4000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in India, the pressure of fighting pandemic on the government, both central and state, is unprecedented. Several ministers joined the NDTV and Dettol's two-hour telethon, as part of their India Coming Together Against COVID-19 campaign, where they spoke about how they are combatting the situation. The first Minister to join the panel, consisting of NDTV's Dr. Prannoy Roy, was Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister, Manish Sisodia. Delhi, as of April 6, has 503 cases of COVID-19, Mr Sisodia explained the rise in cases in the national capital, 

Delhi has 503 confirmed cases out which 320 are Markaz Masjid related, 61 cases are people who returned from foreign countries. Based on data, we can say that community spread has not happened in Delhi yet and so we believe that the situation can be still be controlled.


He further asserted that the Delhi government is well equipped to handle if the situation worsens. Mr Sisodia explained, 

I want to assure that we have a roadmap for the worst case scenario wherein, if 1000 patients are tested positive per day. The situation is not there yet, but medical infrastructure in Delhi is ready for extreme situations.

Also talking about her state's situation and plan of action, Kerala's Health Minister, K K  Shailaja also joined the #IndiaAgainstCOVID19 Telethon. 

She stated that we are fighting a war against this pandemic of COVID 19 which has claimed over 70,000 lives access the globe. She further explained how Kerala, with 314 cases, is fighting the COVID-19, she said, 

We have experience with Nipah virus outbreak also and started a protocol and this time when the virus started in Wuhan, we started preparing and planning because we knew that some students from our state were studying in Wuhan university. By January 24, we prepared a control room, and all districts also formed district control cell.


She further added how they handled the first case of the state, which was also the first COVID-19 case of the country. She said,

By January 30 we got our first positive case from Wuhan and on February 2, we got two other cases. We managed them and from them no other contact cases occurred. Contact tracing, surveillance were used extensively to identify the cases and manage them, she said.

She further spoke about the much discussed topic of the extension of the 21-day lockdown which was imposed by the government. She said,

Opening the lockdown is up to the central government. The centre has asked us for our opinion about the withdrawal of lockdown. We think that we cannot fully come out of the lockdown. But in certain ways we can ease and hold the restrictions even after April 14.

Joining in after Ms. Shailaja, Rajasthan Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot also joined the panel to discuss how his government is fighting the Coronavirus Outbreak in his state, which has 253 cases. He said, 

I am taking care, trying to be careful about keeping physical distance. We know that every country that has taken this virus seriously and has prepared for it has been able to control it. We have taken a 'curfew' approach. Curfew is imposed in all districts and we are increasing the number of testing.


He further said that to beat the pandemic, we need to bring everyone together, all parties, all religion and all people. He further spoke about the town of Bhilwara which was in the news recently for its rising number of cases. He said, 

Bhilwara is a case study in itself, it was becoming a hotspot of the virus but we have taken containment measure and cluster monitoring took place. 3,000 teams were deployed for this. We started shutting down public places, temples and other places even before the lockdown was announced by the centre.

When asked about the status of revoking the lockdown in Rajasthan, Mr. Gehlot said, 

The withdrawal of the lockdown will take place in coordination with the Centre. We need to take each step extremely carefully. Both the state and central government need to take many aspects of transmission into consideration.

Bhupesh Baghel, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh was the last Chief Minister who also spoke about how his state is combatting COVID19 at the telethon. He told the panel, 

We started with closing the borders of the state and then closed all public places. Through media, we have been building awareness on hygiene, sanitation and social distancing. We quarantined all who came from foreign countries and have managed to control the transmissions. We have only 10 cases out of which 8 have been cured and 2 patients are stable. We have geared up all public hospitals and have asked all private hospitals to gear up as well but we don't think it will be required.


Other than the Chief Ministers, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Secretary, Parameswaran Iyer, also joined in and used the platform of the #IndiaAgainstCOVID19 Telethon to create awareness on importance of inculcating handwashing as a habit. Mr. Iyer said, 

Washing hands with soap is extremely important. The government has started Jal Jeevan Mission which will provide drinking water to all households. I think we saw behaviour change that happened because of Swachh Bharat mission, people will change habit now as well.


India Coming Together Against COVID-19 campaign, an RB and NDTV initiative, aims to provide a platform to highlight the works of the unsung heroes, NGOs and community leaders at the frontline of the hygiene battle against COVID-19.

The campaign also wants to keep Indians well informed with medical facts and the news that matters the most in their daily lives during the current lock-down.

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