As Lockdown 4.0 nears an end, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba held a meeting on Thursday with municipal commissioners and district magistrates of 13 cities which account for 70% of the total coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country.
The cities are Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi / New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Thane, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata / Howrah, Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Jaipur, Jodhpur, Chengalpattu and Thiruvallur (Tamil Nadu), the statement said.
The country registered 6,566 coronavirus cases and 194 deaths in the last 24 hours. The total number of cases was 1,58,333, comprising 86110 active ones, 67692 cured/discharged and 4531 deaths, according to the Health Ministry.
“In the last 24 hours, 3,266 patients were found cured. This takes our total recovery rate to 42.75%,’’ it said.
A statement issued by the government noted that the Cabinet Secretary’s meeting had significance as the 13 cities are considered to be the worst coronavirus affected locations. In the meeting, the Centre stressed that containment zones should be geographically defined based on factors such as mapping of cases, contacts and their geographical dispersion and demarcate a well-defined perimeter to enforce strict lockdown protocols.
There has been no formal announcement on extending the lockdown beyond May 31 so far. It was imposed on March 24.
“The measures taken by officials and staff of municipal corporations for COVID-19 cases management were reviewed at the meeting. The Central government has already issued guidelines on COVID-19 management in urban settlements. Highlights of this strategy include work on high-risk factors, indices such as confirmation rate, fatality rate, doubling rate, tests per million people etc,” the statement said.
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Municipal corporations could decide on designating residential colonies, mohallas, municipal wards or police station areas, municipal zones, towns as containment zones, as required, the statement said.
The cities were advised that the area should be appropriately defined by the district administration and local urban body with technical inputs from the local level, it added.
Use of goggles
Responding to queries by healthcare workers on reuse of protective eyewear, the Health Ministry said goggles were a crucial component of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and issued an advisory on their reprocessing and reuse.
“Goggles may be issued to each healthcare worker, who will decontaminate them after every use. Goggles to be disinfected by users and reused at least five times each, whereby one pair of goggles will suffice for 6 days. They may use them rationally till their transparency decreases or they get damaged. The ratio of issue of goggles to coverall is recommended at 1:6”, said the advisory.
It, however, pointed out that reprocessing and reuse of goggles must be done only when it was dedicated to each individual (write name over the band). “Reprocessing must be done after every use before using it again, adherence to manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfection of goggles wherever available is a must”, it stated.
“Store clean eyewear in a paper bag/in a clean area to avoid recontamination and the eye protection must be discarded if damaged/rendered optically non-clear on repeated usage,’’ it added.