What are Governments across India doing to tackle COVID-19?

Shacind Ananthan @shacindananthan Indian geopolitics buff. Writes on Vedic/medieval Indic history.  #SavioursOfBharat. KL, Malaysia

A comprehensive note to update all the countless measures taken by BOTH Central and State govts to tackle COVID-19 the past week. This will show how India has suppressed the spread, helped Indians overseas & its readiness for the worst. All points backed by sources and facts.

1. India continues to be the country that conducted the most evacuations (9 evacuations and counting). On 15th March, 218 Indians were evacuated from Italy and 234 Indians (131 students & 103 pilgrims) evacuated from Iran. On 16th March, 53 Indians were evacuated from Iran.

2. Indian Embassy in Iran has set up a wellness facility in Qom to undertake 24/7 supervision of infected Indian pilgrims. 225 Indians in Iran tested positive and one death is confirmed.

3. India has to date banned entry from 31 countries (EU, UK, Turkey, Afghanistan, Philippines & Malaysia), in addition to suspending all visas to India as well as visa-free travel facility for OCI cardholders. India announced to stop all commercial international aircrafts for 1 week from March 22nd.

4. MEA has approved AirAsia flights for Indians stranded in Malaysia and flew out 405 Indians in special flights.

5. India has suspended 18/37 Indo-Bangladesh, Indo-Nepal, Indo-Bhutan and Indo-Myanmar border crossings to curb passenger traffic from March 15 midnight and Ind-Pak border (Attari and Kartarpur) closed from March 16 midnight. All 18 land borders closed except the crossings below:

6. India became only the fifth country in the world to successfully isolate a strain of the novel coronavirus on 14th March, from a very small batch of positive cases- a remarkable feat in itself. First step towards expediting the development of vaccines.

7. 62 functional VRDLs are capable of testing for COVID-19, with 9 more to be functional by the end of this week. This is an increase of 40% in a week, from only 51 VRDLs capable of testing on 13th March. 

8. India announced the first and second confirmatory tests for the virus to be free (not free in every country). India’s current capacity is 8000 samples/day (testing only 500/day) which will expand to 10,890/day in 121 labs (not including private labs).

9. As of 19th Mar, ICMR has tested 13,316 samples from 12,426 individuals. No evidence of community transmission was found after results of 500 random samples tested negative. This means India is still in stage 2 of transmission and hasn’t entered stage 3.

10. On 17th Mar, 30 nodal officers of the level of Joint Secretary and above were drawn from various ministries to liaise, coordinate and help the States with respect to any assistance from the Central govt, ensuring seamless coordination. 

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