Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba
PIB Photo

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Monday admitted that he was 'surpirsed' at reports suggesting that the central government had planned on extending the 21-day lockdown period, saying that there were no such plans to do the same.

India on Monday recorded 1,000 COVID-19 positive cases, and the number is likely to increase this week, given the exponential way the coronavirus infection has spread globally.

Last week, Gauba had asked state chief secretaries and administrators of the Union Territories to extensively carry out contact tracing as more than 15 lakh international passengers have landed in India since January 18.

Gauba had admitted that there was a gap between the number of international passengers who need to be monitored by the States /UTs and the actual number of passengers being monitored.

He said, "We initiated screening of international incoming passengers at the airports with effect from 18th January 2020. I have been informed that upto 23rd March 2020, cumulatively, Bureau of immigration has shared details of more than 15 lakh incoming international passengers with the States/UTs for monitoring for COVID-19. However, there appears to be a gap between the number of International passengers who need to be monitored by the States /UTs and ihe actual number of passengers being monitored."

Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day lockdown as part of India's plan to battle coronavirus.

The centre has meanwhile allocated Rs 15,000 crore for medical facilities. “This will be used to increase isolation wards, ICU beds, medical beds, and medical and paramedical manpower,” the PM said, adding that states have been working hard, along with the private sector to focus on the healthcare sector.

In his speech, PM Modi added, “I’ve once again to talk to you about the pandemic that is coronavirus. On March 22, we had taken the pledge of Janta curfew, which we as a nation fulfilled with the responsible contribution of each Indian.”

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Free Press Journal