Keeping in mind the increasing threat of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development on Tuesday recommended coordination over WhatsApp to deal with the cases related to the Coronavirus outbreak.
During the Tuesday meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee, it was suggested that all senior officials of four States -- Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Rajasthan should form a centralized WhatsApp group for better coordination to deal with the situation.
"We had a good discussion at the meeting. All the stakeholders were briefed in detail on coronavirus. All members have agreed to create a centralized WhatsApp group for better co-operation and keep the committee informed on a regular basis," a member who attended the meeting stated.
The officials and ministry authorities who are monitoring the situation will now be a part of the WhatsApp group. According to sources, a few MPs put forward a demand asking for a central communication system to be formed among top officials for dealing with any problem in a time-bound manner.
During the meeting, the panel also advised the government to involve private labs as soon as possible for testing of coronavirus. According to the sources, there are just 65 labs across the country and merely 2,000 tests are being conducted on a daily basis. The panel has now asked for an action plan and also instructed steps to be taken in the lines of improving the centralized communication among ministries and departments.
According to the latest figures available on Tuesday, the total number of positive cases of Coronavirus in India has soared up to 137 as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Three deaths have been reported in Karnataka, Maharashtra, and West Delhi respectively. India has suspended all visas, barring for a few categories such as diplomatic and employment apart from keeping in abeyance the visa-free travel facility to OCI cardholders till April 15.
Moreover, the Centre has “strongly advised” Indians to avoid all non-essential travel abroad. The government is also monitoring all suspected cases and has issued preventive advisories.
Taking into consideration the rising number of Coronavirus cases, the Central Government on March 14 decided to treat the deadly virus as a "notified disaster." The government has also decided to go into a partial lockdown as it ordered the shut down of all educational institutions, places of social gatherings like swimming pools, spas, gyms, museums, and cultural centres.
(With inputs from ANI)