To reduce the spread of the novel Coronavirus in her constituency Basirhat, Actor-politician Nusrat Jahan will use the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADs) Funds for procurement of essential items to test and contain COVID-19. Taking to Twitter, the TMC MP also appealed to her colleagues to do the needful and requested the people to stay at their homes and stay safe.
Glad that I can now use MPLADs Funds for procurement of essential items to test & contain COVID-19 at my Constituency #MyBasirhat. Already on it. Will request my fellow colleagues to do the needful.— Nusrat (@nusratchirps) March 24, 2020
Stay Home - Stay Safe. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/OvAlC8MpEL
The government has allowed the use of MPLAD for procurement of urgent medical equipment, a Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation circular said. This will facilitate MPs to recommend funds for the purchase of equipment for government hospitals/dispensaries for medical testing and screening of patients and in setting up other related facilities in their respective constituencies.
As per the amendments to MPLADS Guidelines, MPs can now utilise funds under MPLADS for procurement of infra-Red thermometers (Non-contact) to enable doctors and medical personnel to record and track a person's temperature.
"Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Kits to keep the medical personnel well-protected and enable them to function efficiently by minimising the risk of transmission," the notification stated. It also stated that with the help of these funds, thermal imaging scanners or cameras for railway stations, airports and other points of entry which allows detecting of temperature from a safe distance can also be purchased.
"Corona testing kits approved by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, ICU ventilator and isolation/quarantine wards within their approved facilities and face masks, gloves, and sanitizers for medical personnel can be procured," the circular stated. The government has also allowed procurement of any other medical equipment recommended by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for prevention, control, and treatment of COVID-19.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the country at 8 pm on Tuesday night. In a major announcement, he declared a nationwide lockdown for 3 weeks. “Every state, union territory, village and district will be a part of this lockdown,” he added. The lockdown will start at midnight on 24th March.
The PM said that these 21 days are crucial to reducing the spread of the Coronavirus and that the decision was taken after consulting with various health experts and the World Health Organization (WHO). He acknowledged that 3 weeks is a long time and there will be a lot of inconveniences, but that these steps were necessary to prevent suffering in the long term.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India has reported about 536 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19. Eleven people have died so far due to the deadly virus.
(With agency inputs)