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Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: In order to combat Covid-19 and to map the spread of the virus, the government is initiating a telephonic feedback system in which calls will be made to citizens to get the status and real picture of the disease's spread. The government will be conducting a telephonic survey calling up citizens on their mobile phones across the country.

"This is to be carried out by NIC and calls will be made to mobile phones from the calling number 1921," said a statement from the government.

With 1,336 new cases in the last 24 hours, the total number of novel coronavirus cases in India stood at 18,601 on Tuesday morning, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

The Health Ministry in its morning update said that, of the total cases, 14,759 are active and 590 people have died of the disease.

"At least 3,252 people have been cured and discharged from the hospital while one person has migrated," said the ministry, adding that there are at least 77 foreign nationals affected by the disease.

Also Read: Prohibit Export Of Anti-TB Medicines; Allow Production Sites To Function: Health Ministry

The statement said that the "calls will be coming to mobile phones from the calling number 1921 and people will be informed that it is a genuine survey and are requested to participate in a good measure when a call comes in from 1921 to enable proper feedback of the prevalence and distribution of Covid symptoms."

The government has cautioned that people should be wary of any other calls by pranksters or calls from any other number in the guise of such a similar survey.

The government has directed states to inform the public about the survey and to the media and tell the people about the official nature of this exercise and be aware of any other calls by pranksters or phishing attempts from any other number.

The Home Ministry today issued a fresh note to all the states and Union Territories on specific services and activities clarifying that caregivers of senior citizens residing with them have been exempted from lockdown measures.

Pre-paid mobile recharge utilities, and food processing units such as bread factories, milk processing plants, flour mills, dal mills etc. located in urban areas have also been exempted from the restrictions imposed as per nationwide lockdown norms.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla clarified it through a letter to the Chief Secretaries of all states in response to some queries received with regard to exemptions of specific services and activities within the categories already allowed in the guidelines issued under the Home Ministry's consolidated guideline issued on April 15, which was further modified on April 16 and April 19.

Also Read: 25 Staff Of Private Tamil TV Channel Test COVID-19 Positive

"However, as specified in the lockdown measures, National COVID-19 Directives and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for social distancing for offices, workshops, factories, and establishments must be ensured," the letter mentions.

"District authorities and field agencies may please be informed on the above accordingly so as to avoid ambiguity at the ground level."

As per the consolidated guidelines issued on April 15 after the extension of lockdown for another 19 days, the Home Ministry had given exemptions in some activities from April 20. The second phase of the lockdown will end on May 3.

(IANS)

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