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Himachal: Retired medical personnel reemployed to tackle COVID-19 threat

Indian Express 2020-03-25 20:05:36


Express News Service

| Shimla |

Published: March 25, 2020 8:05:36 pm Additional chief secretary (health) RD Dhiman said that samples of 19 people were tested on Wednesday and all of them were negative.(AP/File)

In a bid to strengthen manpower to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak, the Himachal Pradesh government Wednesday decided to re-employ all medical officers and paramedical staff who retired after December 30, 2017 and also extended the service of current employees, including faculty members, who were set to retire by March 31. The order includes employees of departments of health and family welfare, and medical education and research.

Additional chief secretary (health) RD Dhiman said that private medical hospitals and clinics have also been directed to stay operational, not send anyone on leave and keep the health workers prepared to provide their services if needed. Those not following these directions may face action under the Clinical Establishment Act or the Epidemic Diseases Act, he said.

He added that samples of 19 people were tested on Wednesday and all of them were negative.

Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur said that steps would be taken to ensure that supplies of essential commodities from outside the state is not hampered. “There is sufficient stock of ration, pulses and edible oils and availability of milk and bread will also be ensured. If required milk collection centres would be established,” he said.

HP Milk Federation chairperson Nihal Chand Sharma said that adequate sanitisation and hygiene will be ensured during the processing of milk at various Milkfed plants, and during its transportation and delivery. “All employees have been ordered to change clothes, wear masks and use soap and sanitisers before starting operations. All vehicles are being disinfected too,” he said.

The CM also asked officials to ensure adequate supply of cattle fodder and not restrict the movement of nomadic shepherds (Gaddis and Gujjars) who move their flocks to high-altitude pastures during this time.

Meanwhile, confusion prevailed in some districts over the supply of farm produce and vegetables. “Farmers didn’t visit the mandis in Solan and Shimla today as we were told the retailers were absent. Though this operation falls under essential services, there was lack of clarity. Items such as cucumber, which have no shelf life, have gone to waste and there was no supply of vegetables to the towns,” said Mohan Lal, a Solan-based farmer.

The State Executive Committee constituted under the Disaster Management Act also met on Wednesday and decided to notify more roles and responsibilities to 17 departments notified to perform emergency support functions during disasters. Members also decided to constitute a COVID-19 Management Strategy and operationalise state and district Emergency Operations Centres.

Total FIRs registered in HP for lockdown/quarantine violations – 93

People under health surveillance – 1373

Corona Count:

Deaths – 1

Cases – 3

Total tested – 99

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