The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism, and Culture has appreciated "the pro-active steps" taken by the Ministries of Railways, Civil Aviation, Tourism, and External Affairs to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
A Rajya Sabha Secretariat release said on Thursday that the committee held a meeting on Wednesday with the representatives from the four ministries to take stock of the various measures taken by the government to curb the menace of COVID-19 virus.
The committee appreciated the pro-active steps and preparedness of ministries of Railways, Civil Aviation, Tourism and External Affairs in tacking the coronavirus threat," the release said.
At least 190 confirmed cases of the virus have been reported in India with at least four reported deaths.
In an address to the nation on Thursday evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the citizens to be vigilant and not go out unnecessarily. He called for a 'Janta curfew' on Sunday, March 22 from 7 am to 9 pm in an attempt to break the contact chain amongst people. The move is also being widely touted as a testing measure for a possible curfew in the future. PM Modi also urged senior citizens to not step out of their house for the next few weeks.
The Prime Minister announced the formation of a COVID-19 Economic Task Force under the Ministry of Finance. "The global pandemic is affecting the economy as well. Keeping in mind the economic challenges, the Government of India under the Finance Ministry has decided to form a COVID-19 Economic Task Force. This task force will stay in touch with all stakeholders and will take appropriate decisions based on the feedback. It will ensure that it will take steps to reduce the burden on the economy," the Prime Minister said.
Globally, around 10,000 people have died due to Coronavirus, with the epicentre being China. The virus has infected around 2,45,000 people globally and has now spread to North America, South America, Europe, New Zealand, and more than 180 other countries.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has initiated a COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for individuals, philanthropies, and businesses to contribute to the effort to respond to the pandemic. The funds will help to send essential supplies such as personal protective equipment to frontline health workers, enable all countries to track and detect the disease by boosting laboratory capacity through training and equipment, ensure health workers and communities everywhere have access to the latest science-based information to protect themselves, prevent infection and care for those in need, and accelerate efforts to fast-track the discovery and development of lifesaving vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments.
(with inputs from ANI)