India

To fight corona, plan mechanism on lines of Centre, Cabinet Secy tells states

New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) To aid the fight against coronavirus, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Wednesday advised states to develop a mechanism similar to 11 Empowered Groups formed by the Centre.

In a letter to state governments, Gauba mentioned the importance of the move to contain the spread of the deadly virus, saying such measures should be taken during the 21-day lockdown which will continue till April 14.

Informing the states about the constitution of 11 Empowered Groups under the Disaster Management Act with clear-cut mandate to decide on various aspects of management of COVID-19, Gauba urged the states to develop a similar mechanism at the state-level.

The Cabinet Secretary's instruction to the states comes at a time when COVID-19 pandemic in India has claimed 55 lives with over 1,900 confirmed cases.

The Centre on Sunday constituted 11 empowered groups for planning and ensuring implementation of Covid-19 response activities. Each group will be handled by a team of senior government officials who have been tasked to identify the problem areas and provide effective solutions, delineate policy, formulate plans, strategize operations and take all necessary steps for effective and time-bound implementation of these plans in their respective areas.

A total of 80 senior civil servants have been deputed in the 11 groups which may seek guidance of the Cabinet Secretary.

In matters involving procurement, the empowered group will take into consideration special instructions given to the departments and will take suitable decisions as well as make recommendations, a Home Ministry statement said.

In such matters, it said, the ministries concerned and departments will take immediate action to implement all the decisions and recommendations of the empowered group.

–IANS

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