New Delhi: The Centre has announced to create a dedicated web portal where people can verify facts and unverified news related to Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). The centre has also advised the states and Union Territories (UTs) to create a similar mechanism. States and the UTs were informed through a letter issued from the office of Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla earlier on Wednesday.
In the letter, the states and the UTs were asked to submit an action taken report to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) so it can be informed to the Supreme Court that took on the Centre in a hearing of a plea over the panic created by fake news leading to mass movement of migrant labourers, their plight and untold suffering following lockdown.
The Ministry has told the states and the UTs that the report will be submitted to the apex court on April 7, the next date of hearing.
The states were also told that the apex court however has expressed satisfaction with the proactive and timely actions taken by the Central government for preventing the spread of novel coronavirus or COVID-19, but had taken serious note of the panic created by fake news leading to mass movement of migrant labourers.
While referring to the provisions of Disaster Management Act, 2005 and lndian Penal Code, the Ministry said, the court observed that "we trust and expect that all concerned viz., state governments, public authorities and citizens of this country will faithfully comply with the directives, advisories and orders issued by Union of India in letter and spirit in the interest of public safety".
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The apex court has also given observations and directions regarding provision of relief camps, shelters for the migrant labourers and the basic amenities such as food and medicines to be provided in line with MHA and National Disaster Management Act directives and other welfare activities to be taken by the state governments.
The court has also given directions on taking effective measures to check circulation of the fake news.
"In view of the directions made by the court, all the state governments and UT administrations are requested to take necessary action and also to comply with the directives, advisories and orders issued by the Central government for containment of spread of COVID-19 in the country."
The Supreme Court, while taking up a writ petition, had sought status report on the steps taken by Central government which had filed a detailed status report on March 31.
COVID-19: States Asked To Earmark Dialysis Facility In Case Of Rise In Coronavirus Pandemic
Furthermore, the Health Ministry has issued guidelines for dialysis of COVID-19 patients asking states and Uts to earmark at least one dialysis facility in case of rise of COVID-19 epidemic.
The guidelines issued on Wednesday say that the states and UTs should identify and earmark at-least one hemodialysis facility with adequate number of dialysis machines, trained staff, reverse osmosis (RO) water system and other support equipment as preparatory fixed-point dialysis unit in case of rise of COVID-19 epidemic.
Health departments have to issue directives to the district administrations allowing easy movements of these patients (with one attendant) to dialysis facility.
Patients who do not have private vehicles, government run transport system should be organised for facilitating transport of these patients. Patients should use their hospital papers as pass to commute to the dialysis unit.
The district administration should ensure that service providers for the dialysis consumables, should be allowed to deliver the material to the hospital or home as the case may be.
COVID-19, a disease caused by a novel coronavirus (SARS CoV-2), is currently a pandemic, which produces high morbidity in the elderly and in patients with associated comorbidities.
Chronic kidney disease stage-5 (CKD-5) patients on dialysis [maintenance hemodialysis (MHD)or continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD)] are also vulnerable group because of their existing comorbidities, repeated unavoidable exposure to hospital environment and immunosuppressed state due to CKD-5.
These patients are therefore not only more prone to acquire infection but also develop severe diseases as compared to general population.
Patients on regular dialysis should adhere to prescribed schedule and not miss their dialysis sessions to avoid any emergency dialysis. There will be three situations of patients who require dialysis, patients already on maintenance dialysis, patients requiring dialysis due to acute kidney injury (AKI) and patients critically ill requiring continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT).
The dialysis units have been informed that a sign board should be posted prominently in the local understandable language as well as Hindi and English asking patients to report any fever, coughing or breathing problem in dialysis unit and waiting area.
All hemodialysis units should educate their personnel in hemodialysis units; including nephrologists, nurses, technicians, other staff and all patients undergoing MHD along with their care givers about COVID-19.
(With Agency Inputs)
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