The world is currently fighting COVID-19, which has nearly 8,00,000 confirmed cases and caused over 42,000 deaths globally. What started in China has caused a global upsurge, with India alone registering over 1390 cases of which 35 have succumbed to the virus. In the wake of the rising death toll and under the directions of the World Health Organization (WHO) that declared the novel virus as a pandemic, the Indian Government took stringent actions to detect, treat and reduce the transmission of the virus.
Here are some key steps taken by the Indian government to fight the deadly virus:
While the virus scored globally, the government took proactive measures to control its spread in India. It conducted heavy screenings and mandatorily quarantined incoming International travellers and also conclusively suspended all visas, except for diplomats and employment, till April 15. All cross-national borders were sealed, and railway operations were suspended.
Further, all schools, gyms, malls, clubs, hotels, community halls, etc. were shut. But due to the increased risk of the spread of the virus, on March 24, the Prime Minister announced a complete 21-day lockdown for the entire nation, banning people to move out of their houses. This act, thus, severely restricted the community spread of the virus. However, the downside is that the lockdown is expected to shave off more than Rs. 10 lakh crores from the Indian economy.
To curb the growing panic and to distribute viable information, the government provides authentic information on the virus, its spread, preventions, guidelines, helpline numbers, registered cases, death tool, etc. on the Ministry of Health’s official website.
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The government has designated 72 centres across the country for the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19. As per the WHO estimate, there should be 3 beds/1,000 people while India has only 0.7 beds/1,000 people. Thus, to provide for more isolation wards, the government converted 20,000+ railway coaches into isolation stations. Meanwhile, the centre has also ramped up steps to develop a vaccine for the pandemic.
On the other hand, the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) undertook emergency measures cutting various interest rates to a record low to increase liquidity in the economy by over Rs. 3.7 lakh crores. It also ordered a 3-month EMI moratorium from banks and financial institutions such as Tata Capital, as well as provided relief for taxpayers by deferring the ITR and GST filing dates until June 2020. Moreover, to help low-income households, migrant workers and daily wage labourers cope with the situation, the government has issued relief packages (worth Rs. 1.7 lakh crores for food and direct cash transfers), opened shelter homes, and other securities.
The Indian government is leaving no stone unturned in battling coronavirus. However, whether or not the Government has successfully contained the spread of COVID-19 in the country, only statistics can tell.
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