The Group of Ministers (GoM) on COVID-19 in a meeting on Thursday discussed the containment and management plans for the novel coronavirus, the government said in a statement.
The GoM, headed by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan alsodiscussed the actions taken so far by the central and state governments tocheck the spread of the disease.
The meeting was attended by Civil Aviation Minister HardeepSingh Puri, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Minister of State for Home,Nityananda Rai, Minister of State for Shipping, and Chemical and FertilizersMansukh Mandaviya and Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare AshwiniKumar Choubey,
Member (Health), NITI Aayog, Vinod K Paul and Chief ofDefence Staff Bipin Rawat were also present.
The current status of social distancing measures beingimplemented to break the chain of transmission of the coronavirus was alsotaken up at the GoM meeting.
The statement issued by the Union health ministry said thatthe GoM was informed that all districts have been asked to prepare andstrengthen their contingency plans to combat the pandemic.
It said several other measures about strengthening capacityof states, including devoting adequate resources for creating dedicatedCOVID-19 hospitals, equipping medical institutes with PPE, ventilators andother essential equipment, were also discussed in detail. States have beenasked to identify COVID-19 centres and hospitals, the statement said.
"The GoM also reviewed the testing strategy andavailability of testing kits across the country along with the strategy forhotspots and cluster management. The GoM was apprised regarding the adequacyand availability of PPE, masks, ventilators, drugs and other essentialequipment against the requirement," the statement said.
The GoM was informed that domestic manufactures have beenidentified for production of PPE and orders have been placed, it said. Inaddition, order for ventilators has also been placed, the ministry said in thestatement.