Chief Secretary Directs officials for enhancing surveillance to reduce gathering

Port Blair, Mar 18:  The Chief Secretary, A&N Administration, Shri Chetan B. Sanghi today convened a meeting of the Secretaries of A&N Administration in the conference hall of the Secretariat to review implementation of restrictions imposed to contain spread of COVID-19 in the Islands. The meeting was attended by the Principal Secretary (Health), PCCF, DGP, Principal Secretary (Revenue/ DM&RR), along with other senior officers of Secretariat.

The Chief Secretary asked the officials to implement the restrictions and ensure legal actions against the persons who are violating the restrictive orders. He directed the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) and Superintendents of Police (SPs) to beef up surveillance to reduce gathering in markets etc. It was further suggested that the empty quarters at the new ANIIMS campus may be used for quarantine of contacts if needed. He also suggested to find out the possibilities to port 112 help line number with help line of COVID-19. Earlier, Dr. Avijit Roy, NO (COVID-19) briefed the Cluster Containment Plan of the Administration to contain any community outbreak of the COVID-19 in these Islands.

Thereafter, a meeting of State Level Advisory Committee (SLAC) for Outbreak Control was held under the Chairmanship of Principal Secretary (Health), in the conference hall of the Secretariat to review the action of preventive measures taken on COVID-19 in A&N Islands. All Deputy Commissioners and other members of the committee attended the meeting. The Principal Secretary (Health) was appraised of the background of the disease and steps taken by A&N Administration and future plan of action to combat the COVID-19 by Dr. Avijit Roy NO (COVID-19). The Principal Secretary (Health) requested all three Deputy Commissioners to implement restrictive orders effectively and ensure that no undesired inconvenience is caused to citizen.

In the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, 396 persons were/are under home observation. Among them, 249 passengers have completed observation while 147 passengers are under surveillance. Till date 17 samples have been sent for testing, of which results of all the sample are negative.

During the meeting, discussion was held on various other possibilities for importation of virus and containment plan for A&N Islands. Principal Secretary (Health) directed the concerned to augment the intensive IEC activities in these Islands for threat perception though various media. He has requested the public not to get panic as all the essential items, food and ration items are adequate in stock and the Administration has no plan to stop any essential services.

He further directed the Department of Shipping, Port Management Board to increase the frequency of Ship/ferry for Inter-Islands and also to establish extra counter in the ticketing counter so that there is no crowd at counters.

The Chair also raised concern about unavailability of disinfection items in the market and also directed the Officials to take up the matter with concerned Ministry for supply of the same.

Further, State Level Advisory Committee has approved the Containment Plan for Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

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