Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang chaired a high level meeting of State Task Force to review the State Government plan of action on COVID-19 at Samman Bhawan today. The meeting was attended by Cabinet Ministers, Chief Secretary, Addl.Chief Secretary Finance, DGP, Heads of various Government departments, Special DGP, ADGP Law and Order and senior officers of the State administration. Chief Secretary Shri S.C. Gupta in his opening remarks presented a brief overview of the status of COVID-19 in the State. He also briefed about the second Notification issued on 26th July with regard to extention of lockdown, taking into account the prevailing situation in the State.
The Chief Secretary apprised that the State is also facing monsoon woes due to incessant rainfall and the government is trying to restore the situation so that least hurdles and headships are being faced by the people. The State administration has also pulled manpower (safaikarmacharis and office attendants) from various departments to augment the manpower in the Health Department. During the meeting, contact tracing, testing and preventive measures of COVID-19 along with post lockdown scenario after 1st August was also discussed at length.
The Chief Minister in his address informed about the State Government’s effective coordination to tackle the present situation. He pointed out in detail about the menace of fake news being circulated in social media which is adding to the already existing challenge. He stressed on the need to disseminate correct and factual information through credible source and all news or information in any form should be verified and throughly checked with concerned department before posting and uploading. He further said that if anybody is found to be spreading fake news on social media, electronic media, or in any form, Government will take stringent action.
The Chief Minister also stressed on the need to consistently follow basic guidelines by everyone and added that the sudden surge of positive cases in the State is due to the gross violation of lockdown norms, despite repeated appeal from the State Government. He directed the Police to strictly initiate action against those who are found violating the lockdown guidelines. The proper health guidelines should be enforced and implemented in letter and spirit.
The Chief Minister maintained that post 1st August, there could be slight relaxation to facilitate certain activities. He urged everyone to continue to abide by all safety norms.
It was also informed that a State Level Steering Committee will be constituted in the State for manpower management keeping in view both present and future requirements in all districts. In the meeting, it was informed that if any person came in contact with COVID-19 positive cases, they should immediately contact the toll free State helpline number 104. The Chief Minister stressed that the Helpline Number should be adequately publicized as a potential medium to aid in contact tracing.
The meeting also took stock of the arrangements in place for operation of OPD services in Old STNM hospital as a makeshift facility to provide basic healthcare. Issues concerning supply of medicines and consumables in various hospitals, CHCs, PHCs, and PHSCs were also discussed in detail. The Chief Minister also directed the State administration to immediately address the shortage of manpower in Health Department and make it fully equipped. There should not be dearth of manpower and medicines in the hospitals across the State, he stated.
Report by Prakash, Special Correspondent Sikkim