Corona Virus pandemic has come like an earthquake for all the industries, a earthquake which is gradual and slow and is not stopping. The shockwaves are continuous and tremendous, hi and low. Some industries have completely come to a halt and some have dipped to their lowest. But the healthcare industry is working over-time. The hospitals, pharma companies, doctors, nurses, medical staff and pharmacists and medical practitioners are all working round the clock.
The Indian Government and Pharma Industry are not just working for Indians but we are helping out other countries as well in this time of need. Meanwhile the central government has taken several measures to ensure the safety of common people as well as healthcare professionals who are leading the fight against coronavirus from the front. Apart from bringing an ordinance to declare crime against healthcare professionals a non-bailable offence, the central government has brought several measures and established teams to help healthcare professionals.
Setup Teams For Assisting Healthcare Providers
The government has designated different cadres of volunteers and personnel to ensure the availability of essential medical services. It has also developed a database of the group to enable states to mobilize cadres and volunteers whenever it is necessary. The government has issued a standard operating process for allocating Residents or PG students as well as nursing students for hospital management. A separate team has been specifically created for helping states in cluster containment planning, ICU, and ventilator management.
PPEs and N95s Are Being Supplied
The government has already supplied the states with 5, 11, 000 PPEs and 30,32000 N95 masks. As per reports of MoHFW, domestic manufacturers in collaboration with the Ministry of Textile are preparing PPEs. Fifty of these manufacturers have already cleared the quality test and an order of 10,00,000 PPEs has already been placed.
Prevention of HCQS
Both ICMR and the Department of Health Research have suggested the use of hydroxychloroquine for checking the spread of COVID-19 among the vulnerable population and healthcare workers who are involved in its treatment. They will also be tested for infection.
Stress and Trauma Support
A toll-free helpline number 08046110007 has been launched to offer social as well as psychological support to healthcare professionals. Different training modules for overcoming the stress have also been made available.
The government has created an online portal iGOT-Diksha for different professionals who are involved in handling the crisis such as doctors, hygiene workers, nurses, volunteers, lab technicians, civil servants, defence officials, Anganwadi volunteers, NCC, NSS cadets, etc. Different courses and webinars are now available to train workers to deal with the pandemic.
Exemption of Specific Items From Custom Duty and Health Cess
The central government has excluded certain items from levy of basic customs duty and health cess. These items include face masks, ventilators, PPE, COVID-19 testing kits, and all other products that are required for manufacturing these items. These items will be exempted until September 30, 2020.
Financial Assistance For COVID-19 Emergency Response
An accidental insurance cover of Rs 50 lakhs for the 2.2million healthcare workers who are on duty for COVID-19 has also been launched. The central government has also come up with a COVID-19 emergency response and health system preparedness package. This package will be implemented in three phases between January 2020 to March 2020. The main aims of the package include-
- strengthening the public healthcare system at both national and state level
- ensure preparedness for COVID-19
- acquire essential medical equipment and drugs
- create laboratories for surveillance
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has released funds for the first phase of the programme which will last till June 2020. The funds will be used for different activities like-
- Creation of hospitals and isolation wards for COVID-19 patients
- Offering ventilators
- Increasing diagnostic capacities
- Ensuring surveillance of the disease at the community level
Apart from all this several monetary and other packages have also been released by the Government. In this time of need we are not just trying and fighting hard to help our country men but also our other friendly nations and friends, where we can. This is a tough time for the entire world, and one cannot come out of this alone, we all have to fight together to win over this Pandemic.
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