United Nations Resident Coordinator in India, Renata Dessallien, on Wednesday welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision of a 21-day nationwide lockdown to check the spread of Coronavirus in the country. She also said that PM Modi's call for social distancing is an important step to flatten the curve of the deadly pandemic.
"The UN system in India is fully mobilised and ready to further step up its support to the Government of India to fight COVID-19. I believe that if we work together, we can overcome one of the greatest health threats of our lifetimes," said Dessallien.
UN agencies, including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF, are battling against Coronavirus at the forefront with the Government of India, both at the Central as well as the State-level. The agencies are coordinating the preparedness, response measures, disease surveillance, laboratory and research protocols, risk communications, infection prevention, control training, cluster containment plan, surveillance and tracking of travellers.
On Tuesday, Dessallien, along with WHO Representative to India, Dr Henk Bekedam, met with the Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan, and praised the Indian Government for its "early and robust response" to COVID-19. The United Nations officials also appreciated that the Centre has taken a Whole-of-Government Approach to deal with the pandemic. The officials also discussed steps to curtail stigma and stereotypes attached to COVID-19.
The UN has been coordinating with various other countries to flatten the curve of the disease. On March 1, the UN released USD 15 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to provide aid to vulnerable countries fighting the spread of the COVID-19.
In a bid to break the chain of transmission and stem the spread of coronavirus in India, PM Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a nationwide lockdown for three weeks. As of now, India has reported 562 positive cases of coronavirus, as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
(With inputs from agency)
(Image credits: Twitter/@UNinIndia)